Despite being one of Marvel Comics' most idealistic and incorruptible superheroes, Captain America is now being written as perhaps one of the company's greatest villains. With the release of Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 today, Marvel has revealed that Cap has operated as sleeper agent for Hydra, the fictional terrorist organization closely associated with the Nazis, from the very beginning.
In an interview with Time, Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort said that the plan to make Cap a villain has been in development since 2014, and aims to capture some of what's happening in politics today — particularly when it comes to discovering the ugly sides of our beloved public figures.
"There should be a feeling of horror or unsettledness at this idea."
"There should be a feeling of horror or unsettledness at the idea that somebody like this can secretly be part of this organization," he said. After all, Hydra is associated with terror and hate speech in the comics. "There are perfectly normal people in the world who you would interact with on a professional level or personal level, and they seem like the salt of the earth but then it turns out they have some horrible secret — whether it’s that they don’t like a certain group of people or have bodies buried in their basement."
The news may come as a shock to fans who were first introduced to the character through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, wherein Cap fights hard against Hydra at every turn. However, Brevoort insists that the reveal isn't a gimmick. This is the real Cap, and Marvel intends to explore the ramifications of his being a villain in the months to come. Luckily, Sam Wilson, the newest Captain America, is around to take Steve on if need be. Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 is in stores now.