In the past, Steve Rogers was considered a failure. The boy was weak and frail. He was not responding to any attempts at reeducation. And the other children would shun him. It was recommended, for the glory of HYDRA, that the boy would be euthanized. Steve Rogers will never amount to anything in this world.
In the present, a battle between heroes ends when everyone gets a vision of Mile Morales killing Captain America. This, predictably, leads to an argument between Carol and Tony. Steve, however, sees beyond bickering. It will do nothing. All you can do is seize control of your destiny.
Rogers kneels in front of Miles, and asks him to get up. He’s Spider-Man – that means something to a lot of people. Rogers asks what Morales wants to do, and the young man says he wants to go home. Captain America agrees, and though Carol and the others try and stop them, Dr. Strange teleports the opposing team away from the battle, while Miles flees with Thor.
In the past, Rogers escaped from the HYDRA school only to run into a fearsome man who introduces himself as The Kraken. The man explained to Rogers that it’s okay to run – it’s a very natural instinct. He went on to say that the boy has been brainwashed with American ideas of individualism, but these notions are flawed. The boy saw it for himself – poverty, disease… Rogers’ own father. But the Kraken believes in a better way – a better world. And he owes Elza Sinclair, who saw something in Rogers, a debt. So Rogers has a choice – he can come back to HYDRA and prove everyone wrong – that he is destined for greatness – or he can run away.
At an old bunker of Nick Fury, Sr., Steve and Tony have a talk. Everyone is looking at Rogers with sympathy, but he isn’t terribly shaken by all this. He asks Tony if all this is right. If the war is worth it. Stark panics at these words and hopes Rogers isn’t switching sides. Them being on the same team for once is really making a difference to Tony. Rogers points out that overstepping civil liberties was never really a problem for Stark before, not during the first Civil War, and again during the incursions. Stark argues that he’s trying to atone, but eventually admits a big part of all of this is the simple fact that his best friend is dead.
Rogers points out that if Tony invented something that did what Ulysses could do, he’d be all over it, and would probably be fighting on Carol’s side for it. The real problem is that Stark isn’t in charge, and he can’t handle this. This offends Tony, but Rogers doesn’t let up. He recognizes a lot of his father in Tony Stark – and doesn’t like what he sees. Control issues, a lack of trust, paranoia, and manic behaviour. Steve has a question for Stark – when was the last time he had a drink. This really gets to Tony, who leaves angry, but promises they’ll talk about this later. Rogers protests, but, in reality, this is exactly what he wanted. With Stark off-balance and questioning himself, Rogers has him in the palm of his hands.
Meanwhile, Sharon Carter has begun to track down Miles Morales. Rick Jones is able to find him… exactly in the first place they should have looked. Rogers then goes to visit Selvig. The doctor insists that they kill Spider-Man, but Rogers says the best thing to do would be to go to DC. Selvig points out that is the worst thing they could possibly do, as this would lead to the very situation the vision predicted. Rogers replies that everyone at the battle was paying attention to Spider-Man in the vision, but not Rogers. Rogers was trained better than that. He saw the world around him.
Spider-Man may very well kill Steve Rogers. But it won’t happen tomorrow. Because, when he does, it will be worth it. It will be for the glory of HYDRA.
So I’ve got to say this was a pretty standard issue, overall. At least standard in terms of the overall quality I’ve come to expect out of the series. The art is really solid, while the writing is mostly interesting though a few parts kind of drag on a little bit.
This is especially true in a dialogue heavy issue like this one, but that doesn’t make the comic bad, either. I just found myself once again not terribly interested in the flashback stuff and much more engaged with all the content in the present. A lot is happening right now in the world of both Civil War and Captain America, and this issue moves things along without any big revelations but the promise of more on the way.
Of note is the ending, which I couldn’t find exactly what Steve saw but seems pretty clear is going to play out in a big way concerning HYDRA somehow, and, possibly, content post-Civil War. That’s… well, it’ll be cool to see how this develops. I also really liked the conversation between Cap and Tony. On the one hand, it was kind of touching to have the two men enjoying a heart to heart, but there really is this sinister element to it knowing that Cap is no longer really thinking with their best interest at heart, and the way Steve steers the conversation in a way that will deliberately upset Stark was a solid bit of writing. It’s a reminder just how much this HYDRA Cap has already had an effect on the superhero community. As we learned last year, so much of this war happened at the hands of Steve Rogers.
And I have to say that’s a very different take on things. This is a very fresh aspect of the Civil War that I hope gets played on in the future. This comic gets a solid recommendation for me. It’s far from perfect, but I keep wanting to come back for more.