Released: December 20th 2016
Received: Marvel Unlimited
Captain America: Steve Rogers sure made a wave on the internet when it first released. Many people were running around freaking out about the change to Roger’s character, many not even having read the comic first. So here I am, reading the comic, before I put in my two cents.
Volume one weaves in and out of the Civil War II plot, but in this particular case you’d probably be ok not having read Civil War first. You’ll get a ton of spoilers, but the context is pretty much all there (though perhaps I’ve gotten so used to seeing Civil War II pass through everything that I didn’t even notice it was missing something…).
I think most people with a computer know the big twist revealed in issue one: Captain America is a Hydra agent! At first I totally understood the outrage over this, but honestly? Once I saw the reason why he’s Hydra (AKA having his past/memories altered by the cosmic cube) I’m more ok with it. Not thrilled about it, but ok. I’m thoroughly convinced that this whole change will be undone sometime in the future, so I can’t pretend to be terribly worried about it in the meantime.
As I mentioned above, the cosmic cube plays a pretty heavy role in this volume. We’ve always known the cube had a sentient element to it, but I never imagined it’d come to this level of being. I thought it was interesting that because of that the cube ended up feeling the strongest connection to the one person who talked to it/her while she was a cube, Red Skull. I find it totally plausible that he’d be the only one insane enough to talk to it while it was in his possession, so this holds up for me.
The fact that the cube wanted to then help out other people by making they Hydra? Pretty interesting. I liked that Selvig was brought into the fold – he’s an interesting character. Though I’m curious to see what he and Rogers do in the long run.
Hail Hydra revolves around a couple of keystone events that occurred in Civil War II. One of which we’re supposed to believe Rogers actually set up – the death of Banner as a distraction. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not buying this one. For one, isn’t it a risk to contact a mark that directly? Ulysses might have had a vision of them doing all of that research or writing the letter or something. Then there’s the other part, what exactly did Banner do with the intel he received? Whatever it was made the vision come up, but I’m in the “there’s no Hulk in Banner” party so again, I don’t really buy it. I suppose he could have been testing himself to see if the Hulk was truly gone? And that somehow triggered the vision? We know the visions aren’t fully accurate, or likely pull from a list of possibilities. Either way, I didn’t love this little twist.
The other main event: the vision of Spider-Man (Miles Morales, not Peter Parker) killing Captain America. This one sent everybody into a tizzy. Everyone except Rogers. He saw something in that vision that not only told him it wasn’t going to happen right away, but gave him hope. He must have seen something to indicate Hydra’s success, presumably. The one panel image at the end wasn’t enough to confirm that theory, but it still seems sound.
I’m curious to see what volume two brings us, and where Captain America as a Hydra agent will go next. Will we see the cosmic cube again? Luckily for me I don’t have to wait to read volume two (the one advantage to being behind on reading!).