A few weeks ago Marvel pulled one of it's most ambitious twists yet. That Captain America, the freedom-loving, Nazi-punching, former werewolf, was secretly a deep undercover agent of Hydra the whole time.
Naturally, readers were shocked by the sudden change to the status quo, with many, including myself, drawing their own conclusions as to whether it would stick or not. Marvel told us to expect more information and possible answers in the second issue, and as promised, we have received just that.
So Is Captain America A Turncoat?
Well, not exactly... Captain America is not a traitor, but he is an Agent of Hydra, or rather, he believes that he is an agent of Hydra. That's right, Captain America has been brainwashed, something that has never been done in comics before (and is totally not sarcasm in any way whatsoever).
Cap has been without his youth and powers for awhile now, with them only having just been restored in last months conclusion to Marvel's Avengers: Standoff! storyline. Caps powers were restored to him by the cosmic cube, which has become sentient and taken the form of a little girl named Kobik (because why not).
Some readers had already and correctly theorised that the same thing that gave his powers is what also corrupted him. Caps powers have not only been re-installed by Kobik, but like a new software update that you had been ignoring for months, it came with some unwanted changes; Captain America's memories were rewritten, making him believe unwavering that he is and has always been a member of Hydra.
So now you should probably be wondering as to why a sentient Cosmic Cube-child, would support Neo-Nazis? Easy.
Long Time Nemesis, The Red Skull, Is Pulling The Strings
The Red Skull is back. I mean, one of his telepathic clones, is back with a new and ambitious plan.
It turns out that Kobik is the very same Cosmic Cube that The Red Skull originally claimed and which Captain America shattered in a past conflict. As such, Kobik has a special connection to the Red Skull, one that compelled her to seek him out.
Meanwhile the Red Skull, despite having the stolen telepathic powers of Charles Xavier from the X-Men, has become bored with the ease of his psychic abilities.
With the arrival of Kobik, Red Skull hatches a plan to exploit Kobik's affection for him, by teaching her the ways of Hydra and then use her to manipulate the minds of others, primarily that of Captain America's.
Interestingly Captain America is not the only one to be drafted over to team Skull, and there may be more hidden in the woodwork, unbeknownst to us. So the real question is that now that we know that Steve Rogers is not (willingly) a traitor, how long is this going to go on for before things go back (and let's face it, it will go back) to the status quo?
All in all, some readers might be a little disappointed in regards to how things turned out, but with a Marvel characters as big as Captain America, things really could not have gone any other way. After all, the first issue served its purpose and got the public's attention as it intended to.
Regardless Captain Hydra will be sticking around for the foreseeable future (just like the evil iterations of Spider-Man and Iron Man did for a while in the past), and it will be interesting to see how Captain America's interactions are with the other heroes, as everything will have a second layer of deceit to it. That in itself is something that I think will be exciting to see play out.