This Might Explain The Big Change In Captain America Now

You may have heard that Captain America is… different now. It might seem that the change is coming out of nowhere, but it probably not.

Born on 4 July 1918, Steve Rogers is the first man to be called Captain America. The Super-Soldier Serum that made him a peak physical specimen during World War II also kept him youthful. But when a villain in a 2014 storyline drained the Super-Soldier Serum from Steve Rogers' body, he aged decades in an instant and became too feeble to wield his shield.

Steve then passed the red-white-and-blue costume to his friend and partner Sam Wilson, who previously fought bad guys as the Falcon. Sam's tenure as the new Cap has been controversial in the real world and in the Marvel Universe. Despite a recent falling out between the two former partners, both men wound up working together to investigate SHIELD's use of Cosmic Cube fragments to brainwash supervillains in the sleepy suburb of Pleasant Hill.

These fragments became self-aware in the form of a four-year-old girl called Kobik, who used her powers to make Steve young and buff again. In the Avengers Standoff crossover, Bucky, Steve and Sam — who've all been Captain America at one point — fought alongside various Avengers squads to capture the supervillains who were violently revolting against what was done to them. In the beginning of that storyline, Kobik zapped Steve with her powers. It looked like a playful moment but could actually have been the start of something sinister.

The first issue of Steve's new comic shows never-before-seen moments from his past, where it seems like he's being recruited in Hydra, the evil terrorist organisation who are pretty much Nazis.

Remember, Cosmic Cubes have almost always been used by villains who wanted to reshape reality and rule the world and blah, blah, blah.

Even though she seems to be an innocent little girl, Kobik is made of pieces of different Cosmic Cubes, some of which might still have the imprint of the bad guys who used them. In the first issue of Thunderbolts — a team of reforming villains who were inmates in Pleasant Hill — several sequences make it clear that she doesn't have a grip on the consequences and moral implications of her enormous power.

Later in Thunderbolts #1, Bucky and Moonstone argue over leadership of the team and the more powerful villainess says that whoever takes the stone from her body can be top dog.

It's possible that some villainous influence from previous Cosmic Cube users may be screwing with Kobik's preschool sense of proportion and right and wrong. Little kids already don't have much grasp on that stuff but a child grown from remnants of galactic artefacts used mainly for evil might have even less.

Whatever twisted legacy has worked its way into Kobik's head may have led her to pervert Steve Rogers' memories and turn him into a Captain America that says "Hail Hydra." Steve even says he feels like a stranger in his own body. Of course, there could be another reason, like the telepathic powers that the Red Skull gained from stealing Professor X's brain — this is superhero comics, after all — but a messed-up preschooler with Cosmic Cube powers seems like a very likely culprit.


    I dunno. It just seems like a half-assed plot twist designed to sell more comics due to falling sales.

      Or a way to stir up media attention by poking the most easily outraged audience, the white male nerd.

      Last edited 30/05/16 4:37 pm

        Also happens to be the primary consumer of comic books

        I think it's more the patriotic nerd. I've seen so many venomous Facebook comments about how offensive it is, as if it's a dis against America.

        I'm not into comics myself (even though I do run a webcomics site), but people from every stripe are perturbed at this. I'm friends with a hell of a lot of comic fans and there's a lot more to them than "white male nerds". That stereotype is a bit out of touch with reality.

        Shock writing at Marvel goes WAY beyond just caricatures of the typical comics fan now. Here's something I've seen doing the rounds lately:

        My kid cousin, all of 11 years old, called me up sobbing today. I had about 50 horrifying reasons popping up in my head when he stopped crying enough to ask one question
        "Cap’s not Hydra, right?"
        A bit of background on why this made sense to me: My cousin was 3 when me and my brother bought him a cute Captain America hoodie. He was 5 when he first caught sight of his dad’s comic collection. He was 8 when he insisted on dressing up as Captain America for a contest at school. He was 9 when he first got bullied and his mom used Captain America as a symbol to tell him to always be kind in strength, to know that he was a better person. He got his Marvel encyclopedia last year for his birthday and every time we meet, me and him have hours long discussions on the characters. His favorite Avenger is Iron Man but he has always been and will always be a Cap’s boy. Steve Rogers has helped him appreciate his own strengths, has helped him understand that being a good person is much more important than being perfect. He got strength from Cap’s stand against bullying, inspiration from Steve’s ability to be kind and caring about the world even in the worst of situations, and most of all motivation to appreciate his own goodness. To him, he was just like Steve Rogers and I’ve seen that kid be so proud of that.
        And today he calls me up, shattered and heartbroken, because his ideals, his dreams and convictions of years have been ripped apart. He felt betrayed and lost, because if Cap, his Cap, could be Hydra, a Nazi organization, then did it mean that he was drawing strength from evil all these years?
        An eleven year old is questioning his life choices. Nick, still think you’re funny?

        My six year old godson is crying in his bedroom right now - his Marvel plastered, Captain America bedsheets and poster covered bedroom - because his hero is a bad-guy and apparently has been all along.
        Nick Spencer is such a bad writer that the only way he could think of make his mark on a character like Steve Rogers is to steal the hero from thousands of children.

        Tell kids everyone that Nick Spencer is Hydra and he’s trying to convince them to lose faith in Cap. This is what I told my nephew and he accepted that and decided he was going to keep wearing his Cap shirt because otherwise he was letting Hydra win.

        Holding up a mask of the white male comic nerd and pretending it's just angry entitlement from people who should know better, is horrifically shortsighted.

        Last edited 31/05/16 10:59 am

          And when this turn out to be, along with a few thousand other examples in the last few decades, a plot twist that resolves itself, I look forward to an equivalent amount of apology from all those squawking death threats at the writer.

          As to the crying kids - this is what happens when you project media with adult themes to children. The issue isn't the writer - who should not be forced to write at a six year old level unless that is the target market - but in the marketing of the comic.

          If, as pointed out above, entitled white adult nerds are the prime audience then that is how it should be written and sold and people shouldn't have six year olds buying them - or there should be another CA title aimed at children.

          Let's also point out this is a CLIFFHANGER. It's not like we've seen two years of story in which he is shown to be a Nazi running a concentration camp.

          All this has seen is a brief allusion to Hydra trying to influence him as a child and a SINGLE PANEL REFERENCE of 'Hail Hydra'.

          It's almost certain that Captain America is not an evil nazi, and has not been all along. That it will be revealed that this is a subterfuge, possibly with him as a double agent or a similar double plot twist.

          The fact that this has stirred more outrage than the destruction of the great barrier reef tells you a lot about what a pathetically short sighted society we have become.

          Last edited 31/05/16 11:13 am

    Stop worrying about the how or why and just enjoy the ride.

      Bam! The answer will come soon & the precious status quo will be reverted. Again.

    Makes Marvel's "this time, it's totally permanent and not a stunt!" teeth-gnashing even dumber.

    Hydra =/= Nazis. They're two completely separate groups.

    Throwing the Nazi word around in relation to the Captain America story in question is just sensationalism at its finest.

    Last edited 31/05/16 10:43 am

      "Post-War Neo-Nazi organisation founded by ex-Nazis, funded by ex-Nazis, run by ex-Nazis... and to movie-only fans, originally started by Hitler to do science for Nazis" is a bit too wordy.

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