So, the second issue of Captain America: Steve Rogers dropped, and everyone got their disappointing answer about Steve being an undercover Hydra agent — now many of us, myself included, have been served the kind of cheese that goes best with all the whining we did over Cap being a Nazi.
I’m sad to report that this is just another tired and boring story of Red Skull using the Cosmic Cube. I’m not even going to get into the fact that the Cosmic Cube is a little girl now, well this Cosmic Cube is anyway. The cosmic artifact is a very poor writer’s tool, at least when it is used with such regularity as it is in the pages of Captain America. It seems that every time they reboot, restart, or simply cancel the book to launch it with a new number one, the storyline is always the same: the Red Skull with that dang Cosmic Cube.
Now if you are a new reader to Captain America, then all the bitterness I’m spewing might seem a little excessive. If you are a long time reader of the character, like I am, then you know exactly where this is coming from.
As much as I hated the idea of Steve Rogers being an undercover, life-long Hydra agent for real, I like that idea more than simply chalking it up to the Cosmic Cube altering reality, again. With this second issue I have already decided to sign off and not follow the rest of the series, at least until they get another creative team on the book. Then I’ll do what I have been doing for the past ten years or so, picking up the first issue or two, and seeing if there is hopefully anything new, or really just confirming it is more of the same unimaginative slop that has been the status quo since Ed Brubaker left it. And for the record, I didn’t like the Winter Solider storyline either. Some characters are not meant to be brought back from the dead, and Bucky was one of them. Bucky’s death was part of the Captain America mythos, and should have never been changed. It was one of the events that molded his famous resolve, but that’s just my opinion. Despite all this, it still stands out to me as the last solid story telling in Captain America.
The part that bugs me the most is how easily Nick Spencer, Tom Brevoort, and Axel Alonso all fell in line with feeding us a bunch of corporate double talk and lies. Well, technically they weren’t lying. I guess their standpoint is this, if the Cube alters reality, then that reality is now real, and if Steve in this new reality had been always a Hydra agent, then he really is a Hydra Agent. I can sum that all up in one word, “LAME.”
Of course, eventually the little girl Cube will be persuaded that the Red Skull is a bad man, and eventually things will get turned back to normal. But it’s still such a worn-out and overused plot device in Captain America that I’m not even remotely interested. Not to mention that when you are dealing with something as powerful as a Cube, it kind of takes the tension out of things.
I have a disturbing idea. Why don’t the guys at Marvel get some new villains for Cap, and have him fight them in some great stories that don’t involve crossovers, intergalactic threats, a movie tie-in, or the promotion of another character that will be in a movie, or a story that isn’t a blatant gimmick, or a recycled and stale plot line? Until then I will remain tuned away from the ongoing Captain America: Steve Rogers series.