Comic Review: Steve Rogers Captain America #1 (What the?)

You know what?

Sometimes a major publisher does a rebirth of its characters that works really well. Like, so well, that it's critically acclaimed by nearly everyone. 

Sometimes a rebirth of a major character is really just a big piece of crap masquerading as "creative" content. 

This isn't about canon. This isn't about keeping things the same. This isn't about the movies. This isn't even about the legacy of Steve Rogers aka Captain America. 

This is about the fact that Marvel, Nick Spencer and Co. just tried to pass shock value off as actual creative content. 

You are now entering a spoiler-filled zone. 

 

Captain America is apparently a born and bred lifetime member of Hydra. 

That's right. 

That's what happens. 

That's all the story I'll dive into. 

I will say this, though: Jesus Saiz you deserve better. Your Red Skull was one of the best incarnations of that iconic character in quite some time. You nailed Cap, you nailed Sharon; the art was fantastic. 

Back into this hate storm swirling inside of me. 

Not only did Marvel just take 70 years of source material and wipe their sick dog's ass with it, but they dropped trou and laid a Cleveland Steamer on every fan's chest. 

Don't tease a rebirth of a hero for months on end. You don't deserve to use the word Rebirth after the magnificent product DC dropped today.  

I thought the Pleasant Hill run was fantastic and have been overly impressed with Spencer's writing in 2016. I'm not sure if these were marching orders or some crazy idea conjured in his own head, but holy shit.

Good job, you got people talking, I guess. Hope you're proud that you used tabloid coverage to drive sales to combat DC. Good job getting Cap trending on DC's big day! You know what else was trending on Facebook today? Johnny Depp's 18-year-old wife filed for divorce, HBO is unlikely to do a third season of True Detective and Amy Schumer posted a selfie in her bathroom.

'GRATS, Marvel!

While we're here, all the publications who wrote about this book today with spoiler-filled headlines: Stick to what you're good at, which is putting reality stars on pedestals and brainwashing people with gossip news. Stay out of this industry because I don't have enough hands to count how many people's experience was ruined by gossip headlines before they could even let this book ruin itself. 

Speaking of rotten dog crap, here are some snippets from an article from Entertainment Weekly featuring Spencer and Marvel Editor Tom Brevoort:

When asked about how long this was in the works: 

Rick Remender, who was the previous writer on Captain America, had been building towards this story of Hydra having infiltrated various institutions of government and various super teams. I thought that sounded like too big of a story. I drilled it down and thought, what if there’s just one very valuable Hydra plant? What if they’re looking for 100 people, but there’s just one? So I started asking, who’s the worst person it could possibly be? It was really obvious straight away that there’s nobody who could do more damage and nobody that could be a more valuable Hydra plant than Steve Rogers. That was really the genesis. It sprang pretty organically from story ideas that were already on the table.
— Spencer
It made something new and unexpected out of restoring Steve to youth and vigor. Nobody was especially surprised that Steve got restored, but hopefully readers will be surprised by this revelation—and by the stories that follow on from this point.
— Brevoort

It's not even that I'm against shock value; it's that there is no reasonable explanation for this. 

Grant brought up the point that this kind of felt like a Superior Spider-Man storyline, but Spencer put his foot in that clever idea and smeared it into a shit pie:

Issue 2 will lay a lot of our cards on the table in terms of what the new status quo is, but 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
— Spencer to EW

They didn't need a new storyline because they already had one. Remember like three months ago? When Rogers was a 90-year-old dude and Falcon was Captain America?

There was a lot of change in that alone. 

It just doesn't fit the character. It doesn't fit with fans and, frankly, from the embodiment as Red Skull as essentially Donald Trump and Cap being Hydra ... it's kind of just lazily slopped together. 

They showed flashbacks to a young Steve with his mom after his dad slapped her around in the alley, so, this isn't just some daydream. Spencer has created a universe in which Steve Rogers has been a Hydra member since he was a young, young boy. 

Oh yeah, and he kills Jack Flag in this issue. Oh yeah, Erik Selvig is also Hydra. 

Should people stop freaking out? Yeah, they'll fix this eventually as they have billions of dollars to make in the movie industry. Does the simple fact that Marvel will eventually Men in Black us of this storyline somehow serve as an excuse for this issue? No. 

This has to be a "Fuck You" to the movie universe right? What else could this be?

(If you don't want to see the last panel, then quit reading here)

Rating: 5/10 just for Jesus Saiz. His art is fantastic. His Red Skull is unfortunately buried under a tabloid-induced storyline. If they were looking for Facebook impressions then 10/10, if they were looking for well-thought-out, creative content 5/10