Earlier this year, #Marvel broke our hearts by revealing Captain America's true identity as a Hydra sleeper agent, which was featured on the cover of the first issue of the #SecretEmpire event. The news of Steve Rogers working for Hydra spread like wildfire among comic book fans — and outrage quickly ensued.
The anger stems from the fact that Cap is one of the most beloved #superheroes of all time, and this Hydra ordeal goes against everything the man stands for. But the twist has made for one massive story, and the hype surrounding the event has yet to die down.
Marvel has spent months with various comic tie-ins laying the groundwork, and now we are getting a look at Captain America decked out in Hydra armor for the event's final issue.
The image gives us a first look at Hydra-Cap's green suit as he's standing over the bodies of some of Marvel's greatest. The cover hints that the tension finally boils over in the final issue, as Steve Rogers is fully transformed into Hydra's most menacing member — even his armor resembles the gear used by Hydra's highest ranking officer, Kraken. The fact that he still uses the star symbol and the "A" on his suit will probably bother fans, but maybe that is a sign of hope that there is a little bit of Nazi-hating Cap still deep inside of him?
It is also important to point out the "classified" logo featured in the title of the #10 cover. Each issue is shown with a logo in the title — and will be slowly transforming from the Captain America Shield to the Hydra logo — but what is under that censored image?
In the Secret Empire prelude, readers learned that Captain America has been manipulated by a clone of Red Skull (with the help of the Cosmic Cube named Kobik) so that his reality is altered and he believes he has been a Hydra agent since WWII. Now, after pledging allegiance to Hydra, Rogers joins the initiative in taking over society, turning them into a powerful fascist regime. With the rest of the Marvel Universe in disarray, trying to resist Hydra's control looks to be an impossible task for the rest of the community. For the heroes who have not been exiled, they must ban together in taking down their former leader before he leads Hydra to a full siege.
The Secret Empire event started with #0 in April and will run bi-monthly, ending with #10 later this summer.
The preview of the last issue featuring Steve Rogers in his full Hydra suit (seen at the top of the page) is an interesting tactic for Marvel, especially when there are a handful of issues left in the series. If anything, it adds fuel to the fire — but debate, whether positive or negative, is working for Marvel considering sales are doing very well.
Secret Empire's writer Nick Spencer has reassured readers multiple times that this storyline is their true intention and it will not be magically undone. Sharing the final issue's cover solidifies the fact that Marvel is sticking with Captain America's identity crisis. Although perhaps hard to take from an ethical standpoint, it sure is stirring up fan discussions and interest.
Secret Empire #2 is out now with #3 coming out May 31, 2017.
What do you think of Captain America's Hydra suit? Comment below!