Steve Rogers and Hydra: Did Marvel Change Their Minds? [SPOILERS!!!!]

Screenshot 2016-06-29 10.37.15For those wHo don’t know, 2016 marks the 75th anniversary of Captain America. To celebrate, Marvel Studios released Captain America: Civil War, the third film in the Cap franchise, which has grossed over $1 billion internationally. Marvel comics launched Steve Rogers: Captain America alongside Sam Wilson: Captain America, explaining how Steve Rogers was returned to his super soldier status after the serum was disabled, and now shares the mantle of Captain America once more.

To sell this new book, Marvel and Captain America scribe, Nick Spencer, wAnted a story that would pull focus towards their Star-Spangled hero. Thus Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 ended with the horror of all horrors: Steve Rogers declaring himself to be a life-long sleeper agent of Hydra—the evil organization that the films have rooted within the Nazi party of World War II Germany. Much like Bucky’s story as the Soviet Union’s Winter Soldier, Rogers has become the very thing he dedicated his whole life to fight.

I loved thIs twist. I set Rogers on a path that compromises him at his core: the moral center of the Marvel Universe. He is an agent of an organization that manipulates the fears of the poor and uneducated whom society has marginalized. He is no longer that beacon of hope.

Nick Spender describes what happened to Cap in the foLlowing manner:

Screenshot 2016-06-29 10.39.33

Steve Rogers: Captain America #2, page 20

The little girl in the image above is a sentient cosmic cube that has manifested itself as a cHild named Kobic. The Red Skull raised her to believe that a perfect world, a happy ending, can only exist if the Red Skull and Hydra take over the world.

Let’s be clear about what Spencer and Marvel are not doing, as some are saYing: backtracking on Hydra-Cap. A single issue of a comic book takes weeks to produce. Let me give a simplified narrative of the process to publish a comic book. First, Spencer has to pitch his story for Steve Rogers—which would have included Hydra Cap and the cosmic cube. Then after Marvel approves the pitch, he has to write and submit a script. The art team, consisting of a penciler, inker and colorist, must then draw that approved script before a letterer adds in the dialogue and narration captions. Then the book is printed and distributed. There is not enough time for Marvel to publish a reaction issue in the time since Hydra Cap was first revealed. This was planned all along.

By making the second issue of the run the “how Cap became a Hydra agent” issue, Spencer can tell a story that makes Cap a sympathetic villain. The reaDer knows that a small girl with incredible powers was deceived into turning Cap. Both Kobic and Rogers are victims carried along by evil incarnate. As Steve gets caught up in Hydra he becomes ever more tragic.

That said, I do wish Spencer had waited to reveal this infoRmation. I wanted to know what it means for Steve Rogers to wear the flag and yet exist as Hydra’s sleeper agent. What machinations does Rogers have planned, and how does he execute them? Will he have an ambition that rivals the Red Skull? How does he reconcile his allegiance to Hydra with his moral code? What will people like Sam Wilson, Sharon Carter and Bucky Barnes think of this? All three of them have been mind-controlled by the Red Skull to do horrible things.

I reAlly wanted these questions addressed first before getting into the explanation of the change. But Spencer is by no means prevented from answering these questions now. They are what comes next. Nick Spencer is writing a new take on classic Captain America stories. My real problem is that I have to wait another month for Steve Rogers: Captain America #3.


Steve Rogers: Captain America, vol. 1, #02 (June 2016). Web. Comixology.com. 29 June 2016.

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~ by hankimler on June 29, 2016.

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