Everyone, Please Stop Freaking Out About That Ridiculous Captain America Reveal

It's All-New, All-Different Marvel! It's the All-New, All-Different adventures of Steve Rogers, back in action today as Captain America! And Steve has an All-New, All-Different gimmick to his history that will change the Marvel Universe forever... if by forever you mean a few months or so, although you wouldn't know it by the way everyone is freaking out.

So what's the twist, you may ask? It's not Cap's shiny new shield, which has a fancy laser cutter on it to make up for the fact that Sam Wilson is still running around with the old Captain America shield. No, it's a twist that, in all honestly you may have already brazenly read on the front pages of Time, or Entertainment Weekly, or the AP (because screw courtesy, right?), but yes, SHOCKING NEWS: Steven Rogers has secretly been a Hydra Agent all along!

The gagged man is Doctor Selvig — yes, the one from the movies! I pretty much had his facial expression when I read this page too.

Yes, this is the shocking moment that comes from the very end of today's Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, the new Marvel ongoing series that picks up with the newly-rejuvenated (if you haven't kept up, Steve's spent the past few years being a wrinkly old man with no superpowers, hence why Sam Wilson, AKA The Falcon, took on the Cap mantle) Steve Rogers, once again Captain America, taking the fight to his oldest foes.

Except they're actually his oldest friends. This first issue tells two stories: the first being the modern-set adventures of Steve, joined by his girlfriend Sharon Carter, and C-list patriotically-themed heroes Jack Flag and Free Spirit (remember Jack Flag's goofy boom box laser gun? It doesn't matter any more, Steve throws Jack Flag out of a plane at the end of this issue, because he's secretly super eeeeviiiiillll) as they try to root out the Red Skull's resurgent Hydra, which is tapping into the very timely themes of youth unemployment and immigrant-hating to drive recruitment for a new era of the terrorist organisation.

The second is the framing device, set in 1926, which reveals that after a chance encounter with a woman who saves her from her abusive husband, Steve's mother Sarah is wooed into joining Hydra in its earliest days — setting up that young Steve simply followed in his darling mother's footsteps as an agent of evil, playing the long con of being the most patriotic hero in America for three quarters of a century.

Admittedly, I do love the thought of a pamphlet emblazoned with something as blatantly evil as the Hydra emblem ending with "Concerned Citizens Welcome".

It's as silly as it sounds. No matter what Marvel Editor Tom Brevoort has told the press today about this being planned since Spencer began writing Sam Wilson: Captain America in 2014, or how this will all make sense if you go back and read 75 years of Captain America comics, this is a gimmick with no shame. The shades of The Winter Soldier's SHIELD/Hydra twist — or even the original Winter Soldier story arc itself, alongside the oodles of "hero was secretly evil all along" stories that have come before this — should prevent anyone from seeing this as some sort of lasting change to the character.

To be fair, I'm certain Marvel will do something fun with it — this is hardly the first example of comics doing something inexplicably goofy for the sake of catchy headlines, and had a ball with the aftermath. Comics are built on gimmicks like this and playing with them. I'm looking forward to seeing where Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz take this plot line. It's always exciting to be at the start of something completely ludicrous, and just see where it goes — because this is definitely right up there in the "ludicrous comics nonsense" category. I look forward to Steve Rogers eventually being revealed as a quintuple agent or something.

But please, let's not pretend this is real, or permanent, or won't be utterly undone in a story arc or two. After all, Steve Rogers has more movies to star in soon.


Comments

    If you've read most of Bendis' Secret Warriors from a few years back, and Brubaker's Secret Avangers (and part of Remender's run) - you'll know that there's a few loose ends that could be tied up/revisited with this reveal. And Remender planted some seeds for this in his Cap run of a year or two back before he made Sam Wilson Cap. Spencer just picked up from him.

    So y'know Brevoort may actually have a point.

    I'm not a comic book reader, so I'm not invested very much, but it genuinely makes me angry that anyone thought this twist was a good idea. Sure, maybe nobody saw it coming, but that's because it makes no sense whatsoever. That means it's ineffective as a twist, no matter how much they try to explain or justify it.

      It'll be the same reason they make any major change with these iconic characters (well, beyond the simple sales boost from controversy): Temporarily changing a character into an altered version of themselves provides a framework for giving the reader a greater appreciation for the unaltered version.

      Captain America was created by two Jews, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, to mock the growing Nazi movement at home. The German American Bund was at it's peak, and these guys created a cartoon showing the Aryan Ideal punching the real-world Aryan leader right in the mouth while promoting an America that celebrates it's diversity. They received death threats for their efforts.

      This story appears to be a framing device for reminding people that this is the core of the character. They're temporarily taking that aspect away to highlight how important it is. They did the same with Batman during the Knightfall arc. Comics were saturated with heroes who kill, and people were saying Batman is lame because he refused to. They introduced Azrael, a former assassin, to take over the role and become the Batman fans thought they wanted. They used this character to highlight how this isn't what Batman is supposed to be, bringing back the original once the story had done it's job.

      The same thing with Superman, after people said it was lame that he esentially couldn't be hurt - yeah, well now he's dead, do you really think that's better? And so on. The decision to kill or alter major iconic characters may be aditorially mandated, but the writers typically use it as an opportunity to reaffirm the essence of the character.

      Once the authors have made their point with Cap, he'll return to his normal non-Hydra self. In the end, it'll likely be revealed to be the Red Skull using his telepathic powers (hinted at by the fact that the flash backs are monochrome except for red highlights).

      I think it's a nice piece of meta commentary. Look at how many conservative news and infotainment outlets have tried to claim Cap as their own, despite his consistently being used by every major creative team from the creators onward to promote progressive values. Look at how many people think of him as a jingoistic "America, Fuck Yeah!" type, despite him consistently being portrayed as willing to publicly defy the President and abandon the role when he felt america was failing to live up to it's progressive promise.

      Red Skull is acting as a stand-in for those people, reinterpreting Cap to suit his own ideology in defiance of Cap's actual characterisation throughout the past 75 years.

        That was extremely well thought out and read into the details hinting towards the 'between the lines' story
        Good job sir!
        Probably one of mt favourite comments on this site as a whole! 100 points to you

    Eh, stupid shock twist or otherwise, whether they reverse it or not, this was a poor choice. You can't take one of the most renowned, and well loved characters in comics, and retcon their entire back story to make them secretly a dick. Especially for Cap. There's 75 years of history there, that they're corrupting with this idiot comic. And clearly, they've already pissed off a lot of fans.

    It’s always exciting to be at the start of something completely ludicrous, and just see where it goes

    Ugh! That's how you get the damned "Real Housewives" shows and "Khocktails with Khloe".

    I'm losing respect for this medium, man. I've picked up the Punisher, though ...

    Is it too early to place money on him being a triple agent?

    What do you want? Another 75 years of Cap punching Nazis? I read the issue, I think this is going to be an interesting experience. And when they're done, it'll all go back to normal.

      Probably just turn out to be a Skrull, or Caps been brainwashed or something like that. Either way, something to shake up the status quo's not really a bad thing. Look at Knightfall and Death of Superman?

      Batmans unbeatable! - Batman gets beaten. One of the most popular Batman stories ever.
      Supermans unkillable! - Kills Superman. One of the most popular Superman stories ever.
      Captain America would NEVER be a Nazi!!! - Well now.... let's see where this goes :D

        There was a similar "uproar" when Superior Spider-man was revealed, and that turned out to be pretty awesome.

          I was pissed over Superior spiderman but the longer it ran I got uset to it, still missed Peter Parker but could have been its own side series (I think it is, havnt read spidey in a while).

          Although as everyone says give it 6-12 month and it will all be undone by something

    This is really, really dumb. So all that time the Red Skull, and Zemo, and Baron Strucker, and the Gorgon, and Viper, and basically any Hydra leader, ever, was trying to kill Captain America, it was all a ruse to preserve a cover? Even in his solo adventures when he was operating without a partner? Or are we to believe that every high ranking member of Hydra didn't know that their greatest enemy was also their greatest coverrt asset?

    This will be retconned faster than you can say "bad idea". Mind control. Brainwashing. Effects of the Cosmic Cube. This being a fake Cap. Cap being a double agent working to bring down Hydra. Whatever.

    In order for a twist to work, it has to be believable. This certainly is not.

    If you ever needed reminding that the conservative mindset is simple, fearful and reactionary, and is resistant to learning, this is a great test case.

    I think the Women that made steve a young man again altered his history/ mind

    Marvel has been doing this stuff for ages with the stupid gimmicks.
    Im not freaking out in the slightest.

    Comic sales are so terrible they will try anything. Pandering to the social justice crowd didn't work, I doubt turning the most goody two shoes evil will either.

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