When Steve Rogers handed over the iconic vibraniam shield to his close friend Sam Wilson, it seemed that Captain America would remain a strong figure for at least another generation. But now Wilson, who only just started in his role as the Captain, is facing criticism where he never expected it — from Steve Rogers himself.
In the first issue of Sam Wilson: Captain America, Wilson makes it very clear that he doesn’t work for SHIELD or the U.S. government. Instead, he vows to stand up for the everyday American and uphold the values of the constitution. After battling a bunch of anti-immigrant radicals near the Mexican border, Rogers shows up on behalf of SHIELD and demands that Wilson stand down. That was the cliffhanger going into Issue #2.
When the story picks up again, we learn that the U.S. government is trying to track down a mysterious informant named The Whisperer, who just so happens to also be feeding Wilson intel. Although it’s not explicitly stated, The Whisperer is a Edward Snowden-like figure who is wanted by the government for exposing their secrets. As with the real-life Snowden, some people consider The Whisperer a traitor and want him tried for treason. Others think he is a national hero for exposing the fact that the government is spying on their own citizens. This becomes the divide between the old Captain and the new Captain.
In the end, Wilson refuses to help with the plan to capture The Whisperer and actually fights off SHIELD long enough for the whistle blower to escape. That won’t make Rogers, SHIELD, or the U.S. government very happy. This feud between old and new political ideals is going to get much worse for Wilson.