Last month, the collective comic-reading Internet broke out into a panic and outrage when it was revealed that Captain America is, in fact, a HYDRA sleeper agent, and had been throughout his entire tenure as a superhero. Reactions were varied, ranging from “This is spitting on everything he stands for” to “Well, it’s a twist, I’ll give them that.”
My own reaction was more about how little sense it makes from a story perspective.
Someone want to explain why Hydra thought making a deep cover agent who routinely crushes them for decades was a good idea? #CaptainAmerica
— Ryoga Rocket (@EliteslayerX) May 25, 2016
Still, the writers were sticking to their guns, and insisted “this is real, it’s not brainwashing, it’s not a clone, this is Cap.” Now, with the release of “Captain America: Steve Rogers #2,” the truth has been revealed.
Spoilers ahead! Do not read on if you want it to be a surprise!
Still there? Yeah, it’s brainwashing.
Comicbook.com reports that “Steve’s memories of indoctrination were implanted by Kobik, the sentient Cosmic Cube who became a girl. Not only that, but Kobik has been under the influence of Steve Rogers’ most fearsome archenemies, the Red Skull, for months.”
Kobik is from the recent “Standoff” mini-crossover, in which she restored Steve Rogers to his super soldier glory. A living Cosmic Cube taking the form and mentality of a human child, she can literally rewrite reality to her whims, and now it seems the Red Skull is the one pulling her strings.
So good news, “Captain America” fans, your hero is not HYDRA. A little girl with the ability to alter the very fabric of existence may be, but that’s how it goes in comics.
Of course, most everyone was expecting it to be some sort of fake-out, and were waiting for it to be retconned sooner or later. (Personally, my money was on time travel being the cause, but using Kobik ties it more into “Standoff” and the source behind Cap’s restored powers.)
Regardless, demand for issue #2 is higher than any other comic coming out this week. When Nick Spencer decided to make Steve Rogers declare “Hail HYDRA,” he knew it would get people talking, he knew it would get people angry, but he also knew it would get people reading the comic, and it absolutely did.