“And now it’s time for another thrilling quest on the Captain America Adventure Program!”
“Last time we saw our hero, the good Captain had just kicked Jack Flagg out of a plane, and had uttered words no true patriot should ever say: Hail Hydra! Stay tuned for more insight to this thrilling twist.”
At least that’s what I’d expect to hear in a radio broadcast if this new comic series by Nick Spencer was actually a radio drama that aired in the 1940s. But I digress because the second issue in the much anticipated, much loathed, and much discussed comic series has been released, and this gal has inside scoop for those who are wondering just what in the world Steve Rogers is thinking right now!
If you remember last month, I had semi-public emotional and mental breakdowns because my favorite character had apparently been a secret member of the same organization he spent his whole life fighting. That’s right: Steve Rogers has been Hydra all along.
Or that’s what Spencer led us to believe in issue one of this new series about the Star-Spangled Man with a Plan. And if you caught my last post, you know that I tried to do my best to dissect the issue to find out just what Spencer is really playing at.
Well, it turns out that none of the theories I had were proven in full in Issue #2.
[Warning: SPOILERS for Issue #2 will be after the picture.]
It was the Cosmic Cube all along!
“When Captain America and Red Skull last faced off, Captain America threw his shield at a Cosmic Cube and it shattered into several pieces.”
As announcer guy said, part of the comic is a flashback to a fight between Cap and Schmidt some years before, and Steve’s adamantiumm and vibranium shield broke the cube into several pieces. Those pieces had been in stasis (okay, lockdown) at SHIELD since then; however, an accident at SHIELD caused the individual cases to break, and the pieces converged together and created a humanoid being that can manipulate all of reality if it so pleases her.
And pleases her, it does. This cosmic cube child – now called Kobik – finds her way back to Red Skull, and together they hatch an evil plan that will shake the comic world to its very core.
Together they created plans for Pleasant Hill – the prison that was mentioned falling in issue #1 where Dr. Selvig was with Baron Zemo – to be a trap for Captain America as he sought to rescue Selvig from the evil villains that live there, and find Kobik and bring her back into protection of SHIELD. What Steve wasn’t anticipating was running into Crossbones and being beaten to a pulp, and Kobik restoring his strength and youth when he was on the verge of death.
Another thing Steve wasn’t expecting was Kobik changing his memories and ideals to match those of the storybook Hydra that Red Skull had been telling her at night as bedtime stories.
Yes, you read that right: Red Skull had been reading her idyllic stories about HYDRA, and she caused Steve’s whole perception and memory of the Nazi science division to change! The Hydra we saw in issue #1 was gaining a lot of attention in 1926 is only false memories planted by Kobik into Steve’s head. It doesn’t exist at all; it has all been made up by a manipulated little girl who just wants to make her father figure happy.
Well, Red Skull is happy alright, he’s happy to use a little girl – who only wants some friends to play with her – into infiltrating SHIELD and subtly influencing its very leaders into doing things they would not normally do. Where SHIELD was using Pleasant Hill to create complacent drones out of super villains, Red Skull and Kobik were doing the same with SHIELD and causing them to follow Hydra.
Starting with Dr. Erik Selvig and Captain Steven Rogers. And if the end of the issue shows anything to go on, Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson, too.
“Dun, dun, dunnnnnnnnnn.”
I am not going to lie, this issue really brought the feels to the surface. I’m still reeling from the emergence of a Hydra Captain America, so the shock value is still there all while playing with other emotions. There’s a anger towards Red Skull because he stoops so low to use a child to gain power and acclaim. There’s sorrow for little Kobik who only wants to make her parental figure proud, and be able to make friends and have fun. There’s fear over what this means for the rest of SHIELD since Kobik was so easily able to come and go within the facility, and interact with various personnel. There’s terror that she was able to manipulate Bucky and Sam into believing in this perfect Hydra…
And there’s certainly excitement and trepidation over what will happen in future issues, and if our favorite Captain can overcome this mind-meld and become the Hydra fighting hero we’ve grown accustomed to.
We’ll just have to hang in there; this could be a long series.