ByJames Valentine, writer at
I talk way too much about comic books so I hope that's cool. "Dad, you killed the zombie Flanders!" - "He was a zombie?"
James Valentine

So Marvel has been throwing Ol Cap through a lot of crap as of late; Cap has been without his powers and shield for quite some time, after losing his super soldier serum and becoming an old man (thanks to comic book shenanigans).

The shield and Captain title were handed to his longtime sidekick, Falcon and Steve Rogers was placed into a more Commander type role. But then things were looking good for old Cap; he got his powers restored (thanks to even more shenanigans) and took a new shield and costume.

However, Marvel’s not done just yet and still have a few more surprises up their sleeves. That’s right, the above image is not a result of someone with Photoshop and too much time on their hands. So go ahead and introduce yourself to the new Captain America, AKA longtime secret agent of Hydra.

Confused!? Well don’t worry because apparently so is Captain America...

Now before you go and sharpen your pitchforks and light your torches, keep in mind this is at least what the writers down at Marvel are claiming. In truth comic characters are often subjected to big changes to their status quo (like dying).

Usually, these changes serve as gimmicks that only last about a year or so before things return to the norm (like the ‘Superior Spider-man’ series). Sometimes however these changes stick, or at least long enough for it to become the new status quo; for example Marvel killed off the original Wolverine in 2014 and to perhaps the surprise of many, he is still very much dead (albeit he has also been replaced).

Death of Wolverine
Death of Wolverine

So what does this mean for the Captain America reveal? Well basically you enter either two schools of thought: one being that this is a bunch of Hulk-sized shit, and the other being that this is actually super real, will have long-term ramifications and you should from now on suspect anyone and everyone of being a secret Hydra agent (including but not limited to yourself).

Don’t Panic, It’s Probably Just A Gimmick…

Like seriously, it probably is.

Yeah sure it is a rather extreme gimmick; I mean wow a guy named CAPTAIN AMERICA is now a Neo-Nazi? Imagine your favorite English teacher revealed to the class on the last day of school, that he/she was actually secretly your asshole Maths teacher, right before disappearing into a puff of smoke and maniacal laughter…confusing right?

This guy can't be a Hydra agent, right?
This guy can't be a Hydra agent, right?

Regardless it has the desired effect, all the same, everyone is talking about it and I would not be too surprised if the next issue sold out. So if this is a gimmick it is already working.

However to flip 75 years of hardcore patriotism on its head sounds practically impossible. But it’s exactly what Marvel are claiming to have done, with the next issue (which is issue #2 by the way) promising to explain the how and possibly the why.

I am not sure I am entirely sold on this, a few years ago Spider-Man went through a similarly big change; Peter Parker was finally bested by the classic villain Dr. Octopus. Peter was "killed", his mind wiped from his body and Doc Ock was now in control of it, declaring himself to be the Superior Spider-Man.

Fans reached for torches and pitchforks as writer Dan Slott swore blind that this development was permanent… it wasn’t. Peter returned and things are more or less normal for Spider-Man again (though Superior turned out to be a fantastic comic run anyway). So really the golden rule in comics is that nothing really ever changes…

But Then Again, Maybe This Really Is The Next Chapter…

Maybe I’m just falling for the carrot on the stick again, but this really could be something that might have some more permanent changes to the Marvel Universe. Cap likely won’t be a Hydra agent for long but the damage will be done. What better way to make Hydra great gain by corrupting the one entity thought by many to be incorruptible? It’s an interesting move that really only pays off if it sticks.

What makes me believe even more that this might just be permanent, is that according to Marvel, only Cap (and us the reader) know that Steve Rogers is flirting with Hydra. This is sure to make for an interesting dynamic where we see some much-needed layers to Cap’s personality.

So, what I am saying is that a lot of thought seems to have been put into this by Marvel. Having Captain America being some kind of double agent, opens a lot of doors to future stories, so to that end, this really actually does not feel like a gimmick.

However at the same time, it is unlikely that Cap is now a full-blown bond villain, so there are still plenty of pieces missing from the puzzle. Either way, I am intrigued and Marvel has my attention.

What do you think about the big Captain America reveal?


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