Controversy is currently rife on the pages of #Marvel comic books as we "hail" a new era for Steve Rogers. The #superhero powerhouse is currently rocked by the rather controversial #SecretEmpire storyline and the frankly perplexing reveal that not only is #CaptainAmerica an agent of the nefarious Hydra, he has also always been this way. It is safe to say that the plot hasn't only divided fans of the Sentinel of Liberty, but has left most falling on the side of "WTF is this?"
Clearly Marvel is playing the long game, and while writer Nick Spencer has promised that we should stick with it, he also rekindled "a new hope" by saying that his inspiration comes from a rather reliable source.
I Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing
Spencer took to Twitter to defend the storyline, while also comparing Cap's latest arc to the #StarWars saga. While it is unlikely we will see Steve Rogers move over to a respirator and start Force-hurling the rest of the Avengers around the room, you have to admire Spencer's conviction — he is taking influence from a pretty impressive backdrop.
Just like the events of A New Hope and Return of the Jedi, as well as The Force Awakens and Rogue One, Spencer says we should think of Rogers as this Emperor Palpatine/Darth Vader menace, while the heroes that fight the good fight are the underground resistance fighters. Imagine Riri Williams tying her hair in Leia buns, Star-Lord swapping the Milano for the Millennium Falcon, and Rocket practicing his best Wookiee growl. Here are all of his tweets combined for your easy reading pleasure:
- Caps All, Folks: Marvel Drops Massive Bombshell On Evil Captain America
- If You Thought Hydra Captain America Was Bad Be-Thor, Wait Until You See His Latest Power-Up
- Will Captain America Lead A 'Secret Empire' In Marvel's 2017 Comic Book Event?
The Force Is Strong With This One
The events of Secret Empire #0 unfolded like some Evil Cap end-game (similar to Vader in A New Hope) and finally put a plan in place that had been in the works for decades. Hurling everything he had at Earth's mightiest heroes, Rogers made moves on Washington and it looked like humanity was done for. Imagine if we left cinemas as soon as Alderaan was blown to smithereens and just said, "well, that's that then." Spencer reassures us that #0 is only the beginning of Cap's "empire" striking back.
However, is he just cashing in on a well-loved fan base to deflect the shower of controversy that currently hangs over his work? Many have gone as far as saying they will stop reading Marvel and can never get on board with a Nazi-supporting Captain America. Sure, Vader may have been a genocidal maniac, but his crimes were entirely based in fiction. Even if Captain America is made to pay in the end (I imagine he will), it is still a hard storyline for many to swallow in the meantime.
Elsewhere, do Spencer's words spell disaster for the rest of the characters caught up in the action? With a storyline involving so many famous Marvel faces, and with Spencer directly quoting that it is similar to Rogue One, we should expect some serious collateral damage along the way. Although Rogue One saw a devastating loss of life, the final scenes and the capturing of the Death Star plans gave a silver lining when all seemed dark. We all know how that one small event led to the original Star Wars trilogy, so, there is hope for Secret Empire yet!
I Am Altering The Deal, Pray I Do Not Alter It Any Further
Treading back to the carefree days of The Phantom Menace, few who didn't know the impending horror would've thought that the happy little podracer would grow up to be the most feared villain in the galaxy. Would we have had such a problem if little orphan Anakin had suddenly turned rogue? Over the three prequel films, we watched Anakin's descent from a bowl-haired Jake Lloyd to Hayden Christensen's brooding grouch. Since 1941 we have seen Rogers wield his shield to protect the Marvelverse, but what if he really has always been on this path to his destiny?
A word to the wise though, Spencer so far has warned that fate is a cruel mistress, so those hoping for Cap's redemption should either turn back now or give up completely. Remember also, even Vader got a payoff at the end of his arc, saving Luke and sending the saggy-faced Emperor falling to his doom. What we should excitingly remember is that, Secret Empire feels that it is on the cusp of creating another iconic villain. Just as Vader became one of the ultimate villains of fiction, the power of Captain America is poised to do the same. One way to create THE greatest villain ever is to first craft one of the greatest heroes ever.
What do you think of Secret Empire so far?
[Poll Image Credit: Marvel]