As we march on this summer’s “Secret Empire” crossover event from Marvel, the pieces of Captain Americas Hydra/planet take-over are all falling into place. In this month’s issue of “Steve Rogers: Captain America,” issue 15, Cap makes his move on the newly de-telepathed Red Skull.
Spoilers for the entire issue follow!
Since having his origin re-written by the newly sentient Cosmic Cube “Kobik”, Steve Rogers has been manipulating the entire Marvel universe to his will. Adding Director of SHIELD to his résumé once again, amassing an army of villains to his cause (including Hive, Taskmaster and Madame Hydra) and sabotaging Captain Marvel’s planetary defense shield have just been a few small items on Cap’s world domination to-do list. This week, Steve attacked Red Skull in his weakened state after Skull rose to power in Sokovia in the wake of their own civil war.
In a flashback, we see a new version of Cap’s fateful fight with Red Skull back in World War II as Steve won the battle of brawn but lost the battle of wits. Cap eventually kneeled before Skull as he knew he had been outsmarted. After 72 years of lying in wait, Captain America lets loose a barrage of fists on Skull before defenestrating him in both senses of the word and rising to as the new Head of Hydra.
In a callback to Daredevil #223, Cap chillingly says, “I’m loyal to nothing…except the dream.”
Now with Crossbones and Sin at his side, Cap sets his sights on his next mission: the Cosmic Cube. Though it’s unclear what the implications are of the flashback between Steve and Madame Hydra, we’re left to believe in this newly re-written world that America is responsible for either harnessing the power of the Cube rather than Hydra or that America has created its own Cosmic Cube, thus tying up any paradoxes caused by this new change in reality.
With only two weeks left before Secret Empire #0 hitting stands, it looks like Captain America is about to make his worldwide debut with the Hydra serpent emblazoned on his chest. As with all Marvel events, “Nothing will ever be the same!” Only this time, Marvel might be telling the truth.