Monday, July 4, 2016

Captain America: Steve Rogers #2 Review and *SPOILERS* - Marvel Mondays

A Skull and his Cube

Written By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Jesus Saiz
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 29, 2016
Publisher: Marvel Comics

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Is it ironic I'm reviewing the book where Steve Rogers betrayed America on the Fourth of July?

To those who haven't heard, in the final pages of Captain America: Steve Rogers, Steve threw an ally out of a plane to his death before muttering the infamous salute to his nemesis: Hail Hydra. This shocked and angered, well, everyone. Thousands of fans cried out in anger, storming writer Nick Spencer's Twitter, claiming that he ruined Captain America as a character and as a legacy by making him an Agent of HYDRA. Even Chris Evans, the actor who plays the Cap in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, went "what the heck?!" Over the whole debacle. My stance: ITS JUST THE FIRST ISSUE! I've seen Batman shoot a kids parents! There's always more to the story past the first issue, and in this issue, we learn the reason WHY Cap is the way he is. So what could it be? Mind control? A clone? Was he really HYDRA the whole time?! Let's dive in and find out... 

We open with a recap of recent events in the Marvel Universe such as The Battle of Pleasant Hill, Cap revealing himself to be HYDRA, Maria Hill being investigated after all the failures she's done(ABOUT FRIGGIN' TIME!!), and Kobik the sentient Cosmic Cube still being out there. The narrator then brings up a question that I'm actually shocked nobody asked when Kobik was revealed to be a Cosmic Cube: Who owned the Cube first? Answer: THE RED SKULL!!!

We then get a flashback to years earlier and see Skull's first cube was destroyed by Captain America, but SHIELD came in after and recovered the pieces. They're taken to a lab and experimented on, but they react poorly, creating another explosion; killing not only the scientists but also giving birth to Kobik. This result causes Maria Hill to call in the consultant for the initiative, Dr. Eric Selvig, to take over. However once they arrive, they find Kobik very quiet... Almost as if she isn't there.

This leads to one of the problems I have with this book...humor where there doesn't need to be. We cut to Red Skull at his dinner table...and he telepathically has his dinner staff shoot themselves in the head. Why? The soup was bland. Okay, there's more to that, but that feels so overused as a throwaway gag for telepaths and people like the Purple Man. Add that with a joke about only people in banana suits are experts on Cosmic Cubes from Maria Hill, and it makes it feel awkward as hell.
After the murder by telepathy, Skull explains to Sin that the powers make everything much too easy and that he needs something unthought of to take control. Enter Kobik, who reveals that she was his cube. He takes her in and begins to raise her by teaching her the "good lessons" taught by HYDRA. During this time, SHIELD continued to study Kobik and her potential, but was outed by Rick Jones, now cyber freedom fighter The Whisperer, as being a government conspiracy, creating a rift between both captain Americas.

After Skull tucks in Kobik, reminding her once again that she has to keep his involvement with her a secret. She replies the only one she told was Dr. Selvig, her handler when she's at SHIELD. Before Skull can yell at her, she teleports them to the good doctor...where he begins praising Skull as his master. Kobik reveals that she changed Selvig's entire life with her reality altering powers to make him HYDRA. After confirming these changes with his telepathy, Red Skull comes up with his new diabolical plan: Do the same to Steve Rogers.

The story ends with a recap of what happened at Pleasant Hill from Red Skull's perspective, such as having Selvig propose the project, have Zemo choose him to guide Rogers, and have their attackers beat up each other with his mind powers. Skull promises to use Cap as his general when he takes over the world and make him say those two words he dreaded since the day he heard them. Hail Hydra.

Bits and Pieces:
If you wanted an issue that pushes ahead the current story arc with Steve Rogers, you won't find it here. This issue instead shows the reason behind the Captain's sudden betrayal, as well as catch new readers up on the important events that lead us to this point. The art was nice, nothing to write home about except the menacing red skull holding the Cosmic Cube. While it's nice to get that explanation, I can't wait to see where this story goes next


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