The following article features spoilers for Captain America: Steve Rogers #10 by Nick Spencer, Jesus Saiz, Ted Brandt, Ro Stein and Kevin Libranda and Civil War II: The Oath by Nick Spencer and Rod Reis, both published today.
Over the last few years, when Marvel characters have seen some dystopian vision of the future, they seem to have had something in common. Towering War Of The Worlds-like robot octopuses, supposedly part of a Martian invasion.
Today… exactly seven years after these started appearing with Captain America Reborn #6, we finally get an answer to what they are all about.
But we'll get to that. That will be the third big spoiler.
The first is given away in Captain America #16. As Maria Hill loses the directorship of SHIELD…
…although she still has it in today's Infamous Iron Man…
…her plan for an impenetrable shield to surround the Earth and protect it from alien invasion remains. And it is Sharon Carter who is fighting for it.
…with Captain America supporting Carter as new Director of SHIELD.
However while Carter's support for the shield sees it fast tracked through the system…
The Red Skull shouldn't be too upset considering who does get the job, though.
That's right, folks, Steve Rogers, Captain America, Agent Of Hydra is now the new Director Of SHIELD. And that is the oath that titles Civil War II: The Oath.
And may be why the issue in question was delayed so long, so that it would mirror another event that happened this week.
You may draw your own parallels. As with a speech that Captain America gives, with images of Chicago…
And a certain tweet from yesterday.
If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible "carnage" going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
And we see Captain America given unprecedented new powers, with all his supporters blissfully in ignorance that he is the pawn of a foreign power intending to destroy and control the USA.
With very familiar sentiment, of those who put their trust n a charismatic figure. But we also see that Captain America was granted a vision of the future by Ulysses – still one in which he dies at the hands of Spider-Man. But one in which Hydra… has won.
Has taken America, the media, the institutions, the classrooms. The country. Which includes concentration camps for those alien immigrants…
And yes. Those futuristic octopus-like robot creatures running the landscape.
They are Hydra. Of course they are.
Welcome to the Secret Empire, Marvel's next big event. In which Hydra has taken the USA, under the leadership of Captain America. Secret Empire #0 is out on April 19th and a Free Comic Book Day Secret Empire #1 will be published on May 6th.
Written, we all presume, by Nick Spencer.
I wonder if he's going to get Captain America to punch himself?