No, besides Bucky isn't the first to learn the truth, Taskmaster found out first and Elisa Sinclair caught him before he could inform Maria Hill. It also won't end any time soon, you do realize that Hydra Steve is the main villain of Secret Empire, right?
Do I realise? Hahaha. Ha. Haha. Ha ha.
Yes, I damn well realise.
Unfortunately I am VERY MUCH aware that stupid HYDRA!Steve is going to be the stupid main stupid villain of the stupid Secret stupid Empire.
*grumble grumble stupid grumble grumble idea grumble grumble*
The point I was making (while tying not to be spoiler-y in that post) is that technically Bucky has some control over Kobik and could get her to fix all of this nonsense and we could then pretend this abhorrent idea of taking Steven Grant Rogers and transforming him into a FREAKING NAZI never ever happened. Ever.
(Sorry, you’ve opened a painful and enraging wound now, and I’m now going to launch myself into a long-ass rant
Look, I know that what I am desperately hoping for won’t happen. But technically there’s still goddamn time to pull the plug on this terrible idea (and before you start, yes, yes, I do know there’s no goddamn time to pull the plug on this terrible idea). In Thunderbolts #11 Bucky could just have explained everything *nicely* to Kobik (as he has done so well before) and then, POOF!! everything would be fixed.
The main criticism for HYDRA!Steve isn’t some ordinary “you’ve changed his character and it doesn’t make sense” or “the plot is silly” argument. Making Captain America - and in particular, the STEVE ROGERS incarnation - a HYDRA agent is literally the worst thing that Marvel could have ever done.
It makes me sick to my very soul.
I get what they were trying to do: Steve Rogers, the wearer of the Captain America mantle, who embodies the values that we hold to be true and unimpeachable, has been manipulated into the very thing he fights against - it’s a (poor) attempt at social commentary: we’re currently living in a world where justice, liberty, honour and compassion are being manipulated to serve the forces of evil, i.e. greed, hate, fear, tyranny and oppression. And often it’s done under the false belief that we’re doing the right thing. Steve is blind to the truth, he thinks what he’s doing is right - and it’s not his fault. His values still hold true, this isn’t him in his right mind. Except that it is. We’re supposed to believe that, a result of an upbringing under HYDRA’s influence, this is what Steve would have looked like. He’s not trying to fight HYDRA. He’s not seeing through HYDRA’s bullshit. He’s not even questioning them. He’s along for the ride, 100%. Let me repeat that: indomitable, incorruptible Steve Rogers does. not. even. question his Nazi-freaking-beliefs.
But of course, there have been others who have worn the mantle of Captain America, and one who does so now (Sam Wilson) - which implies that the *ideology* that the mantle of Captain America represents is still good, and that a problem only occurs when such power is entrusted to someone who wields it improperly.
In addition, in Secret Empire, there will be heroes who will face Steve Rogers and eventually defeat him (likely at great cost to everyone) - it’s another metaphor for how we have to fight against evil, even if it’s hard. How we can’t just rely on one person and an ideology to save us. We have to be vigilant. We must all fight.
And all that’s well and good, but here’s the thing: Captain America and Steve Rogers were created deliberately as anti-Nazi symbols. I think it’s fair enough to day that it quickly grew beyond its original purpose to become a representation of much broader virtues and ideals, with the mantle of “Captain America” eventually separating itself entirely from Steve Rogers: now anyone can be Captain America (and rightly so), you just need to be willing to fight the good fight (as difficult a thing as that really is). And that’s a good and important message.
But Steve Rogers still exists.
He’s very much alive, and active. He’s not some faded memory of comic-books past. Steve Rogers is also still very much one of the Captain Americas. And thus (in addition to the broader view of what Captain America represents) the specific ideology which brought about his initial creation is also still present, still relevant and still very important: America will not and will never tolerate Nazism.
That is SUCH an important statement to make, especially in the times we live in.
And merely for the drama of it, for the increase in sales, to create discourse (for marketing purposes), and under the guise of “oh but it’s JUST a comic book story not real life, it’s not a big deal, get over it”, they have tarnished everything. They stomped all over that message.
What has happened to Steve Rogers shouldn’t be held up as a political statement, they say? Steve Rogers WAS LITERALLY CREATED as a political statement. He REMAINS a political statement.
You can play with your other characters, Marvel. Do what you like, they’re yours, after all. But this one is different. This one is important. And you’ve sullied him. You fucking asshats.
Is it too much for me to hope that they’ll drop this bullshit storyline and turn the whole thing around? Of course it is.
But damn it all to hell, it doesn’t mean I’m not going to hope anyway.