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Steve Rogers is a Slut: How Captain America is an Agent of Hydra and Why You Shouldn’t Care

Well, it happened. Steve Rogers aka Captain America, our symbol of hope, liberty, and America has been revealed to be an agent of Hydra.

Three weeks ago Captain America: Civil War was released in theaters. With a 90% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 450 million dollar domestic gross, Captain America solidified itself as Marvel’s best solo Superhero trilogy, and arguably the best Superhero trilogy of all time. A feat only the Christopher Nolan Batman films could boast until this point. It almost seemed like a golden age for Captain American fans, new and old. But like any dramatic story, tragedy struck.

Nick Spencer’s new Captain America #1 debuted this week and it held a shocking reveal. The sentinel of liberty, the infallible conscience of the Marvel Universe, has been a Hydra Agent all along.

Cap Art Banner

Now we all know how Tony felt at the end of Civil War when the big Bucky reveal happened.

Civil War trailer Tony

“But … I thought the most shocking thing in this movie was how young Aunt May is.”

As soon as that glossy panel hit the internet, everyone collectively lost their minds. How do we know? Because everyone immediately took to social media to express their outrage.

So why does this matter? Well … it doesn’t.

Let’s look at the most recent example easily mustered: let’s go back to 2007 with Captain America 25. Anyone remember this?

2032516 25a

Civil War had just ended, and Steve Rogers surrendered. As he was being walked up the courthouse steps to face trial, he’s suddenly shot by an unknown assassin. Steve Rogers dies. And he stayed dead. For 2 years. Then in 2009, a little event called Captain America: Reborn happened. That’s where we learned Steve Rogers wasn’t killed, he was shot with a gun that froze him so he was stuck at a single point in space and time. Well, a lot of stuff happens and eventually they get Steve back. But you know what else happens during this story?

1069616 captain america reborn  5 029
Steve Rogers is possessed by the Red Skull.

So what does this mean exactly? It means comic books are a fantastic world where spirits can possess bodies, anyone can be cloned at any time, guns can trap people in space/time, cubes can alter all of reality, an entire race of shape-shifting aliens exist with a civilization built on infiltrating a planet’s population, a gauntlet can decimate all of existence and reformat it with a single thought, there’s time travel, space travel, multiverse travel, multiversal time travel – there are no limits to anything that can happen. And that’s the point. Anything can happen in any way for any reason. Captain America was a werewolf at one point.

Cap Wolf 4

That’s the point of comic books. No story is too ridiculous or too crazy. And you as the reader don’t have to like any of them.

Which brings us to the next point: Why make Captain America an agent of Hydra?

Because it’s great marketing. There’s a hashtag on twitter #SayNoTOHYDRACap. Major news outlets have been covering this story from TIME, to TheGuardian, the Telegraph, etc. Everyone is talking about it. Why? It’s the same reason Donald Trump and Kanye West are popular. Any press is good press, because it gets people talking and it gets them interested. Whether people like it or hate it is irrelevant. It’s even gotten recognition from Chris Evans himself.

Chris Evans Tweet

A quick google trends search can show how much this event has gotten people talking. Here’s the search term “Captain America” over time.

Captain America Search

Every spike correlates to each of the three Captain America movies. The most recent spike indicates interest in Captain America is at an all time high. Comic book events barely made a mark. The small blip in 2007 is from Steve Rogers death in Captain America 25.

And here’s the search term “Nick Spencer Captain America”:

Nick Spencer Captain America

When you search Nick Spencer’s name with Captain America (writer behind making Cap an agent of Hydra) you can also see a large spike in interest – one when he began writing for Sam Wilson: Captain America last year, and one most recently for this new Steve Rogers reveal.

The Comic Book industry is always built on the next big event. It has to be because it’s a print medium. It doesn’t have hundreds of millions of dollars in special effects and an all time dreamy cast to attract your attention like movies do.

I’ll let a famous comic writer/creator (Harvey Award and Eisner Award winner) explain it best:

Kurt Busiek tweet 3

 

Comic books are meant to be wild and ridiculous so that it attracts your interest and makes you care enough to read the story. That’s why most comic book covers have nothing to do with the actual content of the story inside. It’s all built around the hype to draw you in so you’ll give the story a chance. So all the talk around Steve being an Agent of Hydra? It’s doing exactly what it was supposed to; it’s gotten people interested.

Nick Spencer even said it himself in an interview with The Daily Beast:

“Obviously [Captain America] represents a lot to a lot of people. They’re emotionally invested, which is good. The worst thing that could have happened today is people shrugging, or even being reasonable. That would’ve said that we didn’t stick the landing on it. So this is what we wanted, we just have even more of it than we imagined.”

Comic writer/creator Ed Brubaker (Eisner Award & Harvey Award winner, established Captain America writer, and the guy who brought Bucky back) also had a valid point to make:

Ed Brubaker tweet

Besides, major changes never stick around for too long anyway. Steve Rogers quit being Captain America in 1987 with Captain America #332, and the mantle was accepted by the supervillain Super Patriot aka John F. Walker. (Red Skull was walking around in a cloned body of Steve Rogers then too by the way). Steve was back as Captain America by issue #350.

Steve Rogers “died” in 2007, Bucky assumed the mantle of Captain America, and Steve Rogers was back as Captain America by the end of the decade.

Whatever this story of Steve Rogers as a deep Hydra agent entails, it won’t be around forever. And there is no rule anywhere that says you have to like this story either.

If you don’t like the story, don’t buy the comic and don’t buy the hype. Support the stories you do like, and talk about those. Get those stories and comics trending – get them the headlines that fill news feeds. If you’re outraged over a comic that you didn’t even read, you don’t have any room to talk because you’re just feeding the machine you don’t support without any valid input.

I’ll let comic legends Kurt Busiek and Ed Brubaker add one final point:

Kurt Busiek tweet 2

Ed Brubaker tweet3

Ed Brubaker tweet4

About Jos

25 in Human Years. Keeper of the Archives. Resident Batman Expert.

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One comment

  1. I kind of feel bad doing this. But anyone who really wants to know what’s going on with Cap should read Cap Sam Wilson #7 and Standoff Omega. Mainly just the Red Skull’s portions. I’ll let you all draw your own conclusions, but the red color imagery in the noir flashbacks and the red coloring from the jet cabin and the all capped words from Omega’s Red Skull speech really give the whole thing away. Topped off with the fact an EVIL OMEGA LEVEL PSYCHIC snuck into Pleasant Hill, and played no part in either comic other than to wander around and monologue evilly. I kind of feel bad for spoiling it for everybody though.

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