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Comic Book / Captain America: Steve Rogers

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Spoilers for the first issue are unmarked.

Prior to Secret Wars (2015) Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, had the Super Soldier Serum drained from his body and he reverted to his original age. Due to this, he handed over his shield and the title of "Captain America" to his best friend and long-term fighting partner, Sam Wilson, who became the new Captain America. They fought against HYDRA and the Red Skull Secret Wars and All-New, All-Different Marvel relaunch happened.

Then, after seven issues of Captain America: Sam Wilson, Avengers Standoff happened and Steve Rogers was restored to youth, super soldier serum intact. In the wake of Standoff, Steve and Sam decide that it's okay if there are two Captain Americas.

So now armed with a new shield and youth, Steve goes back to work for S.H.I.E.L.D., with Sharon Carter and Rick Jones, going up against the rejuvenated grassroots of Hydra and a telepathic Red Skull. And so while on a mission to take down Baron Zemo, Steve shockingly pushes Jack Flag out of a jet, and utters two words no one ever expected to hear from him:

"Hail HYDRA."

It is written by Nick Spencer and illustrated by Jesús Saiz.

Captain America: Steve Rogers provides examples of.

  • Ambiguous Situation: It's intentionally left ambiguous whether reality was changed or simply just Steve's memories with examples of one or the other being true popping up here and there.
  • Batman Gambit: Cap uses a great one on both Red Skull and the Unity Squad when he disbanded the team he was really pulling the strings behind their backs to make sure they remove Xavier's brain from Red Skull(rendering him powerless) for him, allowing Steve the chance to get close to Red Skull without the fear of his Psychic Powers to kill him and take control of Hydra.
  • Blackmail: During the trial of Maria Hill in Captain America: Steve Rogers #9, she essentially attempts to bribe the tribunal trying her for the events of Avengers Standoff by revealing that she plans to activate a powerful barrier (the Planetary Defense Shield) to protect Earth from all sorts of alien invasions, albeit while trapping all aliens on Earth still there.
  • The Chessmaster: Steve proves to be a pretty fearsome one when it stands revealed that he framed Bruce Banner to make sure Ulysses' precog powers never spotted him, thus getting his once-trusted ally killed by one of his other friends.
  • Cosmic Retcon:
    • How Cap ends up a HYDRA goon. After Standoff, Kubik restores the youth and super powers of Steve Rogers. However in a shocking twist, she retroactively changes his backstory in the process, making Steve a member of HYDRA (with things like Cap's mother being convinced to join HYDRA before Steve's father died). This is because the Red Skull had manipulated Kubik into believing HYDRA to be perfection.
    • This is invoked in Issue #11 where Steve claims that Hydra did this to Zemo, making him younger and giving a life where his father was a monster who never loved him contradicting Steve's memory of them being childhood friends and of Heinrich Zemo being good man and loving father so that Helmut would go down a path of anger and frustration that eventually lead to him leading Hydra.
  • Dead-Hand Shot: Subverted: Steve overhears a struggle between his mother and Elisa Sinclair's men, ending in a close up view of Sarah Roger's limp hand. This leads both Steve and the reader to believe his mother is dead. Much later it turns out she was only injured, and taken care of by Elisa, who also informed her about Steve's progress.
  • Death Faked for You: In Issue 3, Steve appears to kill Erik Selvig and Helmut Zemo in a shuttle explosion on the orders of Red Skull, but both of them show up alive later - Selvig at the end of the same issue, and Zemo in Issue 7.
  • Decade-Themed Filter: Flashbacks to the 1940s are black, white, grey and red. Present day scenes, of course, are full colour. This allows the reader to easily identify which scenes take place in Steve's rewritten past.
  • Decapitation Presentation: After HYDRA takes over during the Secret Empire Crisis Crossover, Steve seeks to make a deal with Magneto, that is beneficial to mutants and non-powered humans alike. To sweeten the pot, he presents him with Red Skull's severed head. It makes Magneto considerably more receptive to Steve's arguments.
  • Disney Villain Death: In Issue 15, Steve murders Red Skull by chucking him out a window.
  • Faking the Dead: In Captain America #25 - the last, mutual issue for Captain America: Steve Rogers and Captain America: Sam Wilson it turns out that Bucky is still alive, and has been hidden by Namor.
  • Hidden Villain: No one in the hero community realizes that Steve Rogers has gone HYDRA and he plans to keep it that way.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Red Skull thought letting Steve have "memories" of being a lifelong HYDRA agent would make Steve the Skull's willing follower. But the Skull doesn't realize that Steve now "remembers" HYDRA being a far more noble crusade before the Skull corrupted it and now working to fix it. In a big encounter, the Skull reveals what he did...and to his shock, Steve refuses to acknowledge his life could have been warped to this degree and kills the Skull to take over.
  • Just a Kid: The reason why Steve was reluctant to go after Ulysses in first place.
  • Kick the Dog: During Civil War II, Steve and Tony get into an argument, which ends with Steve asking Tony when he last had a drink. It's done intentionally, to make Tony off-guard.
  • Lampshade Hanging: During CWII, Rick Jones points out how the plot resembles Minority Report.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: All of Maria Hill's actions since the original Civil War finally catch up to her as she's unceremoniously kicked out of S.H.I.E.L.D..
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The infamous "Hail Hydra" page ended up being used as the cover for a trade paperback called Road to Secret Empire.
  • Legacy Character: The new Madame Hydra is Elisa Sinclair.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Steve had been fully prepared to kill Ulysses to stop him being a threat to HYDRA. Then Tony got caught almost abducting him, while Steve was in the room just out of sight.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Red Skull turning Steve HYDRA is this, as the memories Steve now has depicts HYDRA as a more benevolent organization than it actually is, and makes him believe the way to restore HYDRA to its former glory is to kill Red Skull and take control of it himself.
  • Once More, with Clarity: Issue 2 recounts parts of Avengers Standoff from Red Skull's perspective.
  • Retcon: A minor one, in accordance with Comic-Book Time. When Sally Floyd originally interviewed Steve Rogers during Civil War, she asked him what MySpace was. This story briefly revisits that moment in a flashback, but she asks about Twitter instead.
  • Spanner in the Works: Turns out Hydra Steve didn't quite cover his tracks as well as he thought he did during The Reveal issue. The circumstances were fishy enough for Taskmaster and Black Ant to look into it, and due to the plane crash being in Bagalia (the "nation of super-criminals"), the black box recorder was easily stolen. And it has Steve confessing to being a HYDRA agent on tape. Taskmaster proceeded to try to give the tape to Maria Hill, but lucky for Steve, Elisa Sinclair captured him before he could.
  • The Starscream: Steve is this to Red Skull, seeing the latter as a betrayal of the communal thought process of HYDRA and instead being centered on his own desires. He succeeds in Issue 15.
  • Villainous Friendship: Thanks to the Cosmic Retcon, Steve now views Helmut Zemo, of all people, to be his oldest friend and the closest thing he has to a brother.
  • Villain Protagonist: Steve Rogers himself.
  • Wham Line: From Issue #1:
    Captain America: Hail HYDRA.
  • Wham Shot: In Issue #7 Steve talks to Dr. Selvig about having a ally who he'd trust with his life, the next page reveals it to be an alive and well Baron Zemo.
  • You Will Be Spared: Taskmaster and Black Ant offer to sell their incriminating footage of Steve to Maria Hill, but before the transaction can be completed they're captured by Elisa Sinclair, the new Madame Hydra, who decides not to execute them (at least, not right away) because they amuse her.