Just a rant (beware spoilers) –
So I won’t be reading Captain America: Steve Rogers.
This has hit the internet like a thud. It reminds me of the “big secret” in Batman and Robin: Eternal. What deep dark secret is in Batman’s past? Did Batman betray his first Robin, Dick Grayson? Did he… could he… murder a family in a misguided attempt to replace his crime fighting partner with a younger more obedient version?
Of course not. It was all a ruse. I knew that the moment I read it.
So here we are at Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 and that twist at the end. According to Entertainment Weekly, in an interview with writer Nick Spencer and editor Tom Brevoort, Spencer insists:
“…the one thing we can say unequivocally is: This is not a clone, not an imposter, not mind control, not someone else acting through Steve. This really is Steve Rogers, Captain America himself.”
“His mission is to further the goals and beliefs of Hydra,” explains Brevoort in a USA Today interview. “If that involves taking down the Marvel universe, sure. (But) it may not be as simple as that. It’s not like he’s exchanged his white hat for a black hat — it’s a green hat.” He goes on to admit “We knew it would be like slapping people in the face”.
In fact, it’s worse than a slap in the face. It’s a cringe worthy attempt to sell books and reeks of the same desperation that has DC Comics doing its third reboot of the DCU in a decade.
Newsarama’s David Pepose rightly gives the book 5 out of 10:
While I know Marvel would like to try to flat-tire DC’s big shakeups over in Rebirth (this issue went on sale at midnight along with DC’s big new releases), they’re going to have to try a lot harder than Steve Rogers: Captain America, which is an inoffensive but relentlessly average first installment. I like to think of myself as a fairly open-minded comics reader when it comes to digesting a new status quo, but this feels either like a bait-and-switch or a very wrong-headed turn, given that this comes out on the heels of a movie where we know in no uncertain terms that Steve Rogers could never be an agent of Hydra. It’s a disappointing read, especially given that we know Spencer is capable of some great stuff, as you can see regularly in The Fix, Ant-Man, or even in slightly better work like Spencer’s Sam Wilson series. But this is a case where the hype won’t justify the book. Whether Steve Rogers: Captain America is a clone, under hypnosis or engaging in an undercover operation, it’s hard to take this twist — or this comic — at face value.
With a dark cinematic Superman — Captain America is the only hero left to embody what is good and honorable about super heroes. So now that’s out of the window.
Way to go, Marvel.