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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During the Watergate years he became Nomad for a while.  The government took away the SHIELD and gave it to someone else -along with the Captain America identity- and he became the Captain...  But they also made him a bit of a jerk in AvX so he's been on both sides of the government is evil storyline.  I can't remember exactly but when the government took the Baxter building and Reed and Sue's children away from them wasn't Cap and the Avengers there to make sure the FF couldn't get them back?

Yeah, he found out the head of the Secret Empire was President Nixon a "high government official" who was in the Oval Office.

Detective 445 said:

Didn't Englehart have him lose faith in his country or something to that effect?

I guess it didn't occur to them that if the government was as evil as all that such stories wouldn't be allowed.

  Depends on the style of evil.  A sly oppressive government would rely more on social pressure and manipulation for conformity instead of outright military force.  When you come down to it there's only a very few ways to be free yet a thousand ways to be enslaved.

Richard Willis said:

I guess it didn't occur to them that if the government was as evil as all that such stories wouldn't be allowed.

Issue #15

We have various threads discussing this book but I figured I'd just go back to this one for thoughts on the current issue.  Like most of us who are reading this, I've become weary of this never ending plot line that seems to have no resolution in sight. I still think it's well written and enjoyable in it's own way but I can't help feeling discouraged when I get to the last page and see those "Next... The story expands in Book A, Book B and Book C!" promos. Expands? Really? No thanks. There's no way I'm getting all those books.  I'm ready to hear that the story is contracting. Rapidly.

But in this issue...the plot thickens as Steve tells us..."You believed you had made me your perfect soldier. That through the power of the Cosmic Cube, you had changed who I am. But in reality, you only revealed my true self."  What the...?  That doesn't sound like we're going back to status quo any time soon does it?  What is Spencer doing here? Is he saying that Kobik re-wrote his history but it doesn't matter because somehow he gained control of the re-write and made it how he wanted it to be?  Or am I reading too much into this?

Let's hope it's hyperbole -- or still the cosmic cube talking. Seriously, if they want to establish that Cap's true self is fascist, then I will be very sad.

In fact, this whole storyline makes me sad. It makes me pine for the '70s, when this plotline would have been wrapped up in three issues and Cap would already be back to fighting Batroc ze Leapair.

On your specific question, I don't know. I decided a few months ago to put off reading this story until it gets onto Marvel Unlimited. I'm still pretty interested in it, but the monthly pace of the book wasn't working for me. Expanding the story alleviates that pacing problem, but replaces it with an expense problem. I'm solving both problems by waiting, and only have to deal with the spoiler problem. It's a trade-off.

But I think Secret Empire will be the end of it. I really think Marvel wants a fairly clean break from their relatively low-selling present as soon as possible -- and that point will probably be at the end of the limited series.  

Once the Cosmic Cube has rewritten your personality, how do you really know what your "true self" is?

Last week Marvel shipped a Captain America "Epic" collection which reprinted issues #318-332 (among others). I was never a big fan of Mark Gruenwald's run on the title, and this was just about where I dropped it. I have never read the majority of the issues collected in this tpc, and I came very close to buying it just to read an old-fashioned strightforeward Captan America story.

Good point. Just because Cap says the cube unleashed his "true" self, that doesn't mean he's not totally wrong.

I wasn't a fan of Gruenwald's run, either. After his death he was canonized, so I couldn't even complain about it.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Once the Cosmic Cube has rewritten your personality, how do you really know what your "true self" is?

Last week Marvel shipped a Captain America "Epic" collection which reprinted issues #318-332 (among others). I was never a big fan of Mark Gruenwald's run on the title, and this was just about where I dropped it. I have never read the majority of the issues collected in this tpc, and I came very close to buying it just to read an old-fashioned strightforeward Captan America story.

I loved his Squadron Supreme. I never really warmed up to the other things he wrote. I usually chalked that up to a Marvel vs. DC style thing, but maybe there's more to it than that.

I liked most of Gruenewald's run, outside of the terrorist story line. That really felt forced and out of place.

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