NEW YORK — Captain America has been a symbol of American heroism since 1941, and that all appears to be a lie.
SPOILER BEGINS HERE
“Steve Rogers: Captain America #1” hit shelves on Wednesday along with a twist that seemingly changes the entire history of the character. The final page of the issue has Rogers saying two words: “Hail Hydra.”
The reboot issue, which is the first to have Rogers share the Captain America mantle with superhero Falcon, details how Rogers was recruited as a boy by the evil Nazi-esque organization Hydra and apparently has been a covert agent all these years.
The move sent shock waves through the comic book world with fans horrified that the honorable character is now a member of the organization he’s fought for 75 years.
“LOL at the sheer nonsense of the new Captain America comic spoiler, WHY….WOULD THEY DO THIS?” tweeted Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, staff writer at the Daily Dot.
“This is really just the tip of the iceberg in a larger story,” said Tom Brevoort, executive editor of Marvel Comics told CNNMoney. “The most basic reason for doing this is to see if you’re paying attention and make readers long for the next issue.”
The twist had been in development since late 2014 and according to Brevoort is the actual Steve Rogers.
“It’s not a Steve from the universe next door, it’s not a clone, it’s not a robot, it’s not mind control,” Brevoort said.
Brevoort also felt that the new storyline speaks to the current national mood.
“We’re currently in the middle of this very contentious presidential primary season where folks across America are feeling divided on a number of issues,” Brevoort said. “This feels very much, at least to me, like it’s of the zeitgeist of the moment.”
Brevoort added that with Captain America stories Marvel always strives to make the character’s stories topical.
“Captain America, because he’s draped head to toe in the flag, has more of a larger, more symbolic meaning than many of other characters,” he said. “In an allegorical fashion, you want to make his adventures about where America and where the world is.”
Captain America has garnered new popularity in recent years thanks to being a key component of Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, the reveal in the comics comes days after “Captain America: Civil War” became Disney’s 10th billion dollar film.
Whether this new storyline in the character’s history makes it to the big screen is yet to be seen.
“This is a bigger story than it seems,” Brevoort said. “Hopefully we’ve got this figured out. If not, you’re talking to me on the day I broke Captain America.”