Check out Our Review [WITH SPOILERS] of Steve Rogers: Captain America #1
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Jesus Saiz
Hey, heard any Captain America news lately?
So, Marvel has published Steve Rogers: Captain America #1, and there’s a lot of hand-wringing going on out there. Supposedly, there were even a few death threats directed at the creative team. Wow. If you’re one of those people, please stop reading this; I have no words or patience for that kind of reactionary crap.
It seems that most people really complaining about this first issue haven’t actually read it, because this is a damn good comic. Let’s recap it before we get to the shocking ending. The book picks up with Steve Rogers growing accustomed to his newly created youthful body. He hunts down an offshoot of the Red Skull’s new ISIS-like HYDRA as the book explores Rogers’ continued relationship with Sharon Carter. I really dig how Jesus Saiz draws Carter as an athletic, mature woman. We just don’t get enough meaty action roles for people of a certain age in comics and I’m really digging it; despite the fact that Carter is very young in the films, Marvel is not afraid to have an older woman enter into a physical relationship with a Cap.
In Sam Wilson: Captain America, Spencer takes a very comedic tone, but Steve Rogers mostly plays it straight with Rick Jones providing some comic relief. The book checks in with Maria Hill post “Pleasant Hill” as Spencer deftly introduces his extended cast.
The second act of the book sees Cap go after Baron Zemo as the villain is trying to recruit for a new Masters of Evil. Zemo joins with some real loser villains when Rogers springs into action to take Zemo down. Along with Cap are nearly forgotten heroes Jack Flag and Free Spirit, two obscure characters from the 90s. Spencer does a really good job of making the reader care about these oddball heroes in a short time, inserting little facts about the characters’ histories in some masterfully rhythmic dialogue.
The issue is interspersed with a beautifully drawn flashback of a young Steve and his mother meeting a mysterious woman. The woman saves the Rogers from Steve’s drunk dad, takes them out to eat, and fills their heads with hope and love. She then gives them a flyer and asks the Rogers to join her newly created community action group. The name of that group is HYDRA.
Now, this is where things get intense. Cap confronts Zemo and takes him down. Jack Flag flies to assist Cap and shockingly Cap tosses Flag out of a moving plane. The first issue of this new series closes with Rogers saying “Hail HYDRA,” implying that the Steve Rogers fans have known, loved and trusted for years has secretly been a HYDRA Agent.
Well, some of fandom is reacting badly (NOOOO, not fandom), but it is clear that this story is an iceberg and the “Hail HYDRA” is the only part visible at the moment. The issue mentions the reality altering Cosmic Cube again and again, plus, if I’m not mistaken, the Red Skull still possesses the brain of Charles Xavier, so there are tons of ways Rogers could have been manipulated into believing he had past ties to HYDRA. And there’s that mysterious woman from the past. Couldn’t she have planted a sleeper agent-like suggestion into Rogers?
Whatever the case, if you’re not a reactionary man (or woman)-child, you will realize that this is just the first chapter of a masterly told and emotional story. Soon, it will be revealed how and why Cap is a HYDRA agent and the story as a whole can be fully judged. One thing that has to be said about Spencer and Saiz is, man, they found a way to make fans care, huh? Maybe a bit too much. I really can’t believe that fandom would react so poorly to the first chapter of a comic instead of waiting until the conclusion.
Guys, Captain America is not a sleeper Nazi agent, trust me on this; there’s a story here, and I for one can’t wait to see how it unfolds, because this is on hell of a comic.
So instead of just telling people “It’s good, go read it” you spoil it for everyone in the above description and then at length in the article? You did more to hurt the sales of this book than the people grousing about it. Good work. Also, calling someone who disagrees with you a “man-child?” Pompous much?
Firstly, we warned you there were spoilers in both the FB post and in the heading of the actual article. So, you missed it not once, but twice. Secondly, we enjoyed the book and tried to mitigate the reactionary outrage. It’s the very first chapter and we’re excited to see how it all turns out. If Cap’s a Hydra agent forever, so be it. There will be others to take up the fight while we get to sit back and take in a new and interesting story.
I didn’t say that if you disagree with me you’re a man child , I said that if you sent a death threat to a human being in response to a comic book, you are a man child.
See if people actually buy this issue. This could hurt the book.
Steve Rogers new look.
It’s ridiculous. I look at it and I think, “This is utterly ridiculous.” Then I think this is Marvel after all. Thor and Wolverine are girls now. Spiderman is a pig as well as dead, alive, and way too many incarnations to even care about. One Captain America is a black guy with fake wings, another is a long time Hydra agent. As far as I’m concerned, Marvel is Hydra and mission one: Obliterate Cultural Icons. Marvel has become like the mean kid in the sandbox knocking over everyone else’s castles, then using the stolen sand to build something grotesque. No real creativity whatsoever.
Like many, I gave up and probably wouldn’t have invested in another Marvel comic. Even figuring out which universe you’re in, in the DC world was preferable to the Marvel kindergarten, and the PC nonsense. “I’m overweight! I’m overweight! Why aren’t there more overweight superheroes and meaty action roles for them?”
Then I saw that Captain America was coming back. I held my breath. The one comic I really cared about is Captain America.
Captain America is the REAL “Big Blue Boy Scout.” The one guy I hoped would be left with a true moral compass and sense of duty and justice. The adult hero with the ability to reason. Cap was always the one guy in the room you could trust. Hands down. If Cap says, “This is the right thing to do,” you could relax and not give it another thought because you knew a truly worthy man had come to that conclusion. You knew the one human who could at least budge Thor’s hammer, have given it all the thought necessary.
I thought “I can live without the proper shield if Cap can.” “Maybe,” I dared to think, “Maybe there would be stories about individualism, personal responsibility, the cost of FREEDOM, the difference between equality and equal opportunity, and all sorts of American values! Maybe Cap could teach kids to be Americans instead of entitled members of the proletariat.” Not quite. I got 32 pages of mindless chatter and political posturing and one punch to the gut.
Alas, Marvel couldn’t give us the traditional Captain for just a few months. Oh well, if Cap is a Hydra agent, and those in the know say its real, no tricks, no LMDs, no doubles, no brain washing by cubes, no altered realities, no different earths and all that crap, then the only thing I can think is that there is more than one Hydra. There usually is.
Crap I wish I hadn’t given Marvel my $5 now.
I agree. As a longtime Cap fan (since age eight; I’m 43 now), I am more than willing to give this storyline a chance. I was there when John Walker (the future U.S. Agent) replaced Rogers as Cap in 1987-89, which sparked great fan outrage at the time. What’s one more shocking storyline?
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