I picked up the first issue of Steve Rogers Captain America today out of curiosity and I have to say it completely caught me off guard.

I generally have a pretty high tolerance for hype, gimmicks, and attempts to stir up controversey or get attention. I can understand it to a certain degree. The comic book marketplace has gone through some massive changes over the years and it's tough to create enough of a buzz to get readers to take notice. But despite all of that, I just thought this story was ridiculous.

SPOILER WARNING

The twist here is that Steve Rogers is, and always was, a Hydra agent going back to his childhood. It's apparently not a hoax, or a trick, or mind control or anything else. We even get flashbacks from Steve's childhood to further convince us. And Tom Brevoort has said that it's not a trick or imaginary story.  For some reason, I've finally reached my exhaustion point with this stuff. Not that I'm angry or upset or anything. I'm just having trouble finding a reason to stay invested. And I feel like, if this turns out to be true, it does irreparable harm to the character. Cap is maybe the one Marvel character that you just can't do this type of thing with because his one defining quality was his unassailable character. And additionally, even if it turns out to be a misdirect, the whole thing just reeks of desperation and shortsightedness.

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I read the Mark Gruenwald run, and thought it was pretty average, if not mediocre, both story-wise and art-wise. I don't get why it was canonized, either.

I think it's more that Gruenwald himself was canonized -- he was apparently a really great guy, and he died before his time. A lot of those warm feelings bled over toward his writing, but might elude those of us who never met him.

I heard that Gruenwald interfered in Roger Stern's run on The Avengers as editor by wanting the Monica Rambeau Captain Marvel to fail as leader so Captain America, the character he was writing, could take over.

Generally I liked his work and his sense of history.

Philip Portelli said:

I heard that Gruenwald interfered in Roger Stern's run on The Avengers as editor by wanting the Monica Rambeau Captain Marvel to fail as leader so Captain America, the character he was writing, could take over.

You heard correctly. We discuss it at length over here.

I've heard it said that Mark Gruenwald was a great guy. I've also heard it said he was a petulant, immature, self-important bully.

But I don't hear everything, and I certainly don't know any of the principals. So I don't know what's true and what's not.

I will say this: As a reader, I always enjoyed Roger Stern's stories. As a reader, I found Gruenwald's to be mediocre, and too concerned with, metaphorically, why Aquaman's gloves were yellow for a time. If I have to believe someone about storytelling, I'll pick Stern.

Initial thoughts on Secret Empire 0:

Now this is how you do an event/crossover! I'm still conflicted about the whole Captain Hydra thing ,but strictly based on execution and quality of writing I though this was a winner. So much better than Civil War II.

Really liked the cover and interior art too. More later as time allows...

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