The Captain America: Steve Rogers title had made a lot of news lately with the seemingly impossible revelation that Cap has been a sleeper agent for the evil Hydra organization. Having learned the reason for this improbable transition previously – that ended with Cap pushing an ally out of a plane while declaring, “Hail Hydra” – this issue picks up with the Captain reporting in to Red Skull, the founder of the evil empire.
Cap goes so far as to draw a multi-armed hydra on his ripped chest and kneels before the crimson baddie to show his dedication. It’s disturbing for this symbol of America to bow before what’s essentially a Nazi, and to have him taking order from his arch enemy.
The artwork from Jesus Saiz is straightforward and doesn’t distract with extraneous details. But its colorist Rachelle Rosenberg who brings the issue to life. When we flash back to young Steve and his mother being indoctrinated into Hydra in the 1930s, we’re haunted by a shade of red. From a red sky to a crimson scarf to blood-red water, the specter of the Red Skull constantly casts a shadow across the family’s history.
It’s a remarkable storyline that writer Nick Spencer is taking us
through. Cap has been through a lot over the years (suspended hibernation, the death of multiple colleagues, rapid aging, his own death) but never has he had to fight the evil within himself.
That’s a fight worth watching.
Review by Tom Smithyman