You Should Feel Bad About Not Reading Captain America…A Prelude to Secret Empire
I mean you read the title so let me berate you for a little bit. So I’ve been pestering everybody for weeks about this, and it’s bothering me that more people aren’t excited for this event. Now I’ve been down on Marvel for some of their more recent events(Civil War II, AvX, Original Sin, etc.) but like an addict I’m back at it.
Before it even got its footing people hated Hydra-Cap, and at first I was with them. I mean it does sound dumb, Captain America is a Nazi. It sounds wrong, I feel gross writing it, but that statement is oversimplifying the idea which Nick Spencer has presented. It’s more than that. He made Steve Rogers one of the best Super-villains I’ve ever read. I wish someone could send me that sentence a year ago.
So for those wondering why Cap is Hydra now it’s pretty simple. Comic Book BULLSHIT. But that’s why we love comics. Lets start with Pleasant Hill. Pleasant Hill was a community/prison for Super-Villains where S.H.I.E.L.D used a Cosmic Cube to change the realities and memories of said villains and stick them in quiet suburbia. To create this prison S.H.I.E.L.D decided to take pieces of a broken cosmic cube and create their own. In doing so they created Kobik. See Kobik is a small little girl who is also a cosmic cube. I’ll just let that one sink in real quick.
Alright lets keep going. So S.H.I.E.L.D with their infinite wisdom decided “hey lets use this small child with reality warping powers to warp reality. What could go wrong?” I’m paraphrasing but you get the point. Obviously Pleasant Hill went to shit and the Avengers won. Also my hate for Maria Hill was reignited, she’s just an uncharismatic Nick Fury (Not the black one, the one on the moon. Black one is cool too. The Ultimate one. Yeah). During all of this Steve Rogers who was old at the time was de-aged by Kobik to his former younger handsomer self.
But he didn’t just come back handsome, he came back evil. During the whole Standoff/Pleasant Hill debacle the Red Skull manipulated young Kobik into believing she was his friend. He was able to convince her that Hydra isn’t all that bad, they were a force for good and that Steve Rogers was in the wrong and and and. Ok basically he told her to change Steve so that his passion and love isn’t for the American way, but instead for Hydra. So Steve Rogers is the same Captain America but his principles have changed. And what are we without our principles, it’s what makes us, us. So Steve Rogers who is the most trustworthy, standup, and all around amazing guy is changed. And this change happened a year ago.
So evil Steve has been planning, manipulating, killing, and being an all-around dick for the last year. But nobody in the hero community knows. So during all the events and crossovers he was evil. And it’s been amazing. See I feel like it’s such a hard idea to accept but this story is good. I’m honestly doing it a disservice, just read the series it’s so so good. It’ll make you look at the past year of Marvel comics differently. Especially when Steve shows up, every time I see him now it feels like this looming presence. He’s terrifying.
So the big elephant in the room is the Nazi thing and they address it. Just because Red Skull changed Steve’s past (which we see throughout the series) doesn’t mean Captain America is a fan of his. Before the war Hydra was this secret society, y’know the type that try to control the world through manipulation and all that. This is what Steve was raised in and that’s the Hydra that he wants to bring back. The Red Skull took over Hydra, forcing most of the original society out and effectively turning the group into Nazis. Now I’m not defending Hydra, they’ve been evil since day one. I’m just putting into perspective what Steve’s ideals are. The Marvel Cinematic version is different from the comic version.
So now we have Steve with his same pride, determination, and cunning working to pull off an amazingly evil concise plan. And it’s amazing. I never find myself enjoying a villain as much I’ve been enjoying this series. I know my hype may be different since I’ve been reading since the beginning but I highly suggest picking up this run if you get the chance.
Not to ignore the other Captain America of course, Sam Wilson(previously known as The Falcon). This series is completely different than the other Captain America series, but of course they tie together. Cap America: Sam Wilson tells the story of what it’s like to be Captain America after the original comes back. Add to the fact that he is a black man and Sam Wilson has to deal with a lot of issues. If Captain America: Steve Rogers is about espionage and high concept, Captain America: Sam Wilson is about America and the current climate that we live in.
Steve Rogers has stood against the government, the first Civil War, that time he became Nomad all that stuff, but Steve was never proactive. He never talked about issues that many Americans face. And with both of these books I get a better sense of Marvel’s America. I want to talk more about Sam Wilson but I don’t want to distract from Secret Empire(also I’ve written a lot of words). I will probably come back to Mr. Wilson soon.
If Steve Rogers is an evil man who succeeds, Sam Wilson is the opposite a good man who is broken. Sam Wilson is the Captain we need, and the Captain we got is going to destroy us all. I will say this once this is all over Steve Rogers will never be underestimated again.
Pick up Secret Empire #0 it will give you a good idea of the event. I highly suggest checking out both Captain America series. Steve Rogers is my favorite villain(Doctor Doom is a good guy now). Comics are weird.
Love this!! I hope you get a chance to check out my rant on Secret Empire
… Long story short – I agree with you 100%! Nicely written.