After the first issue of Captain America: Steve Rogers ended with two rather shocking words coming from Cap’s mouth, we knew Marvel had a lot of explaining to do in the second issue. This issue focuses solely on Red Skull and how he’s managed to manipulate Kobik, the cosmic cube with unlimited power, to begin his latest attempt of world domination.
The cosmic cube came into play when Captain America and Red Skull were tussling many, many years ago and it was broken into tiny pieces. From there, S.H.I.E.L.D. prodded and prodded until an unfortunate (and fatal) explosion occured; and a sentient offspring of the cube took form. We’ve seen Kobik in a few comic books now, the character is involved quite heavily in the Thunderbolts series, though she’s not had as much of an impact as she has here.
Kobik flees S.H.I.E.L.D.’s headquarters to find Red Skull as it remembers how fond Red Skull was of it, when it was in its natural cubic form. In no time at all, and with little-to-no effort, Kobik gave Red Skull’s daughter, Sin, her normal appearance back – displaying her wide range of powers and how simple these ordinarily-impossible tasks are for her. Red Skull spends a lot of time conditioning Kubik into becoming very fond of himself and his evil organisation, to the point where it believes they’re the good guys and will benefit the world more than S.H.I.E.L.D.
Kobik proves that it can recondition people’s memories to make them believe whatever it implants; doing so on Dr. Erik Selvig in front of Red Skull. You’d expect Selvig to be scared and to even run away instinctively, but instead he declares his passion and dedication for Hydra – something we know isn’t the case normally. We get a look inside his brain and see that Kobik has implanted fake memories of Hydra into his mind and he’s completely fallen for it.
This leads to the Steve Rogers “Hail Hydra” situation, as after a clever and extensive plan involving Pleasant Hill pays off, Kobik’s able to do the exact same thing on him as itdid with Selvig. So no, Captain America isn’t Hydra but he currently believes he is, and Red Skull plans on using Cap to lead an army to accomplish his evil goals.
This storyline, so far, has been rather interesting as we didn’t know the route that Marvel would go to explain the Hydra connection (or lack of.) The artwork is still good, full of detail, and paints a perfect picture to match the story at each moment. Bring on Issue #3!
After the shocking Captain America HYDRA reveal in #1, Issue #2 explains all - and it's not what it seems!
- Red Skull's manipulation
- Hydra takeover
- Nostalgia reference
- Lack of Cap