Monday, August 29, 2016

Captain America Steve Rogers #4 review and *SPOILERS* - Marvel Mondays

Hail Captain!
Written By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Javier Pina
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 27, 2016 
Publisher: Marvel

*Non-Spoiler and Score At The Bottom*

Well, it's time for Captain Hydra to throw his shield into Civil War II! While I may not be the biggest fan of the main series(though I really haven't met anyone a fan of the main series), I've been pleased with the Tie-Ins so far. The Ultimates second Tie-In and Patsy Walker's have been my favorite of the bunch, and when I saw that the next three issues of this series were going to be tie-ins, I was excited and nervous. Excited because we can see how HYDRA plans to play both sides against each other while they grow, and nervous because the story for this series is already pretty big in scope... What if it adds way too much way too quickly? Let's not try to think about that and dive on in...

We open to Sarah Rogers packing with Steve to go on a 'trip' out of the city. See in last issue's flashbacks, Elisa, the HYDRA supporter who has been trying to make Sarah and Steve's lives better through her cause, decided to take the next step in helping them... BY MURDERING STEVE'S FATHER! While young Steve is oblivious to this fact, thinking he finally has left them, but Sarah pieces it together and tries to get them out of there. Before they can leave the apartment, however, they get a visitor: Elisa... and the two goons who threw Papa Rogers off a bridge.

Meanwhile back in the present, Steve is showing the very alive Dr. Selvig around the lab that he will be using for the coming weeks. He explains that he found the lab of Ivan Kragoff, the old Fantastic Four villain known as The Red Ghost, and he procured it from him. If you thought that this whole HYDRA thing was an act for Steve Rogers, I hate to say this flashback confirms his HYDRA lifestyle more. Red Ghost sends his apes at him, and Steve just DECAPITATES ALL OF THEM. I know they're villainous, but Steve would never flat out kill anything. To add to the brutality, when Red Ghost tries to escape, Cap lasso's him as he tries to phase through the wall, making him lose his arm and leg... After Cap uses his hand for the access to the lab, he KILLS Red Ghost.

After that very violent flashback, Eric points out that they have enemies on all sides as they try and build Hydra. Steve comforts him by explaining they all will tear themselves apart. This is where the book gets confusing, as it begins to fire off on many different plot points. It ranges from the sidekicks in the hospital, the new Quasar getting her first set of visions, and the villains of Baglia... and to be perfectly frank, I found it very boring and very pointless. It felt like all of the storylines that were going to be made were just jammed into one issue because Marvel wanted to start over with Steve Rogers.

There is really the only one  plot point I've been looking forward to. After the events of Pleasant Hill, the council that consults with the leaders of S.H.I.E.L.D. have finally had enough of Maria Hill and are preparing to charge her for...well everything! All I can say to that is: IT'S ABOUT FREAKING TIME! Every time she pops up in a marvel story, I always find her basically using S.H.I.E.L.D. in some evil way. During the first Civil War, she was betrayed her own side and was ready to trap all the heroes and villains inside the negative zone... EVEN THOUGH THE PRESIDENT ENDORSED A BUNCH OF THEM! There is just no redeeming factor, and Marvel just finds more ways to make her unbearable. Anyway, She scoffs at the idea that someone would be able to replace her, but Everett Ross tells her that S.H.I.E.L.D. is about to go to war against HYDRA, with Sharon Carter leading the way. Sharon is in the U.S. Senate pushing for a new bill that Steve approved... Unfortunately, that bill is best described as the 'NSA on steroids', so it's made clear to us what side Steve is on for Civil War... Even though at the end of the most recent issue, he stood with Iron Man... Yeah, I don't get it either.

Back with Steve and Selvig, Steve explains two final things before pressing forward. The first is that Eric has really been the only one who could talk to Kobik, and the moment they can get her back, they will succeed in their plans. Eric asks where should they begin to look, but Steve already knows where she is. With the Thunderbolts. However every time they seem to try and contact one another, it goes dead... Yeah, no surprise, but Kobik is messing with the communication, as she believes that Steve might know she changed him.

The second thing he explains is WHY he is doing all this espionage behind Red Skull's back. Now this is where I am actually slapping my forehead... He believes in the message of strength HYDRA is promoting, but not it's leadership. He has always believed it since he was a little boy. That is when we see that Elisa's goons murdered Sarah Rogers and kidnap Steve... I'm sorry, but why?! If anything, watching his mother die would make Steve HATE HYDRA even more!

Okay... So I was on board with this whole "Agent of Hydra" storyline. I thought it could be interesting, see Steve's morals break through and make him the hero again... But in one issue, it's shown that Steve is practically gone at this point... and by the time he's back, the Fans' love for him might be already dead. He ends the issue by declaring that he wants him and Selvig to kill the Red Skull.

Bits and Pieces:
In one issue, the intriguing Agent of Hydra storyline is brought to its knees by making our 'hero' as unlikable as possible. The story itself is very cluttered, which doesn't help as it tries to juggle the Civil War II plot points and those of its own series. If there is a saving grace to this book, it's the art of Javier Pina, who can make characters look amazing, and scenes just flat out petrifying(Dear god, that scene with Red Ghost is going to haunt me because of the gore, and I love it!). Overall, If you want to read this, wait till it's on sale.

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