Captain America: Steve Rogers has spent the last few months establishing just how far Steve Rogers will go to hide his Hydra affiliation, and with #5, writer Nick Spencer and artist Javier Pina get to just how bad things can get for the Marvel Universe when their greatest hero is secretly a snake in the grass.
Spoilers ahead for this week's Captain America: Steve Rogers #5.
There are several major revelations about Steve’s recent actions in Captain America: Steve Rogers #5, primarily revealing the extent of his behind-the-scenes involvement in Civil War II - in which he is now revealed as a secret third force in addition to Iron Man and Captain Marvel.
Perhaps the most shocking revelation is that Steve ventured into New Attilan to kill Ulysses the same night that Tony Stark kidnapped him (as seen in Civil War II #2) – only to change his mind at the last minute, and enact a different plan. Fearing that Ulysses could predict his actions and uncover his secret, Steve and Dr. Selvig hatch a plan to throw Ulysses off his scent by sending new Gamma research to Bruce Banner. As expected by Rogers, this new data enticed the one-time Hulk into experimenting on himself, leading to Ulysses’ vision of Banner turning into the Hulk, which in turn led to Hawkeye killing Banner in Civil War II #3 - all the while keeping Ulyssses pre-occupied from thinking about Rogers.
What this means is that Steve Rogers is indirectly responsible for Banner’s death. While that’s unlikely to sit well with longtime readers, maybe even more disturbing is the ongoing glimpse into Rogers’s past, insinuating that the Super Soldier program that turned scrawny Steve Rogers into Captain America may have itself been a secret Hydra project spearheaded by none other than Doctor Faustus.
And, interestingly, the woman arrested by Carol Danvers in Civil War II #5 is revealed to be an ordinary citizen - not an agent of Hydra, who contrary to Captain Marvel's beliefs don't even have a plan to attack America's financial system.
Finally, it’s revealed that Steve’s public actions in Civil War II up to this point, and even his allegiance, have been dictated by the Red Skull, whose end goal is to kidnap Ulysses and harness his powers for Hydra.
Of course, Ulysses' last vision, in Civil War II #5, showed Steve dying, possibly at the hands of Miles Morales. How that vision plays out could very well throw a major wrench in Red Skull's plans.
Both Captain America: Steve Rogers #6 and Civil War II #6 are scheduled for release October 26.