The GeeksverseCaptain America #13

Captain America #13
Published on Friday, June 15, 2012 by

I’m a sucker for a Hydra story so when I had a spare moment Hydra versus Captain America seemed irresistible. I picked up a few back issues of Captain America only because they had Hydra agents on the cover, then I started to enjoy the new Scourge so I picked up this weeks issue too.

Past Issues:

I started reading the Ed Brubaker run again at issue #10 because of the green clad agents clambering around the shield bearer. Despite the cover the Hydra agents are in the back ground, being led by a futuristic transplant and recent prison escapee that is working as their leader. The main conflict in the book comes from the new Scourge that is tracking down the specialized witness protection that allows Hydra, Serpent Society, A.I.M. and other terrorists a new life for informing. #11 and #12 follow Captain America on the trail of Scourge and following a trail of leads to an leak.

#13

Scourge’s identity becomes clear in #13. It is a blast from Captain America’s past—which sounds a lot like the Winter Soldier story line where one of Cap’s friends becomes his tormentor but I suppose that is standard fare for superhero stories. The only people that can truly challenge the heroes are the ones that are closest to them. The emotional wallop of realizing your past can destroy your future is like a shield to the back of the head.

Besides the Scourge revelation Cap gets into a nice fight with Hydra agents and a fight with a brainwashed Falcon too. Having both Falcon and Scourge brainwashed in such closely consecutive comics is cumbersome but again that seems fairly common in the spandex set.

Despite drawing on common ideas Brubaker puts together a nicely paced story with a ton of people that remains clear.

One of the cast members that I liked reading again was Brubaker’s take on Diamond Back a villain turned Cap love interest turned good guy. She is one of my favorite romances in the Captain America mythos. Unlike the good girls and civilians that Cap has courted it is his time with the villains the provide nice tension between good, evil, and personal lives.

Patrick Ziercher does a nice job creating eye catching covers. It made me want to buy them.

Preview Cap #10:

Alan Davis does a nice job in issue #10 of the series. Take a peek.

Great Diamond Back:

I’m a fan of Diamond Back a bad girl from the Serpent Society which Cap romances toward the light. For a great Diamond Back story then I recommend Captain America #380-#382. In that three issue run Diamond Back is abducted by the Serpent Society under the new leadership of King Cobra to stand trial for treason against the society.

Diamond Back tries to get Captain America’s help. He turns her down because he doesn’t want to get involved without being able to arrest them all. Since Diamond has a few friends still within the society she begs for leniency but instead gets the boy scout answer.

The December 1990 into 1991 issues were written by Mark Gruenwald, pencilled by Robin Lin, Inked by Danny Blanadi, and colored by Christie Scheele. This is an issue that you may have missed in your early 90s comic collecting, if so you may want to pick it up, especially if you’re a fan of the new Brubaker run.

 

One of the ideas that seems oddly paralell between the the 1990 run and the modern Brubaker run is that in both Captain America has had to remove his blood and thus the super serum. Brubaker made that shrink Cap back into a twerp and struggle with his body identity. In the 1990s Captain America kept the physique and look but also the frailty of being a mortal. instead of struggling in a lab, Cap took his struggle to the street where he could be hurt.

Brubaker makes me want to delve back into my back issue bins because his  Captain America comics seem bother familiar and different at the same time. Luckily Brubaker is not just rehashing the past incarnations of the comics, but like Rick Remender, is taking the past of Marvel and retelling it as a new story. Oddly, this Cap book has missed the Avengers vs. X-Men event. For my money that is a positive attribute of this title. Without slimming down the Marvel universe to fit into this title, Brubaker is creating fun superherodom.

Historical Hydra:

I’ll probably never own Menace #10 in which two Hydra agents pay off a scientist that is developing a bomb that turns people into monsters. Although the Atlas Comics comic is noted as the first appearance of Hydra agents these particular agents are in plain clothes and not sporting the iconic yellow and green serpentine wear. Not to spoil the historic comic but it does sound intriguing and dark with the paid off doctor killing his co-workers after turning them into monsters. Reportedly the story ends with him shooting himself and his son after his son posts a monster magazine image on a mirror. It is a dark scientific horror story that also brings in the secretive Hydra.

I’ll probably also never own Strange Tales #135, which shows an ordinary man trying to provide for his family by joining the corrupt Hydra for the security and profit that it provides. The loving father dealing with the death of his wife by joining Hydra’s legitimate and illegitimate holdings sets the stage for the secretive international terrorist organization. It also lays the foundation for my favorite period of Hydra which hired everyday people and out of work normal people to work for the nefarious purposes. As shown in the Team America run, not all of the Hydra agents were bad people. Most were just trying to get by. Captain America and Team America all appear in Captain America #169 which anticipated the Team America short run before becoming the Thunder Riders and disappearing into the background of Ben Grimm.

Hydra’s origin was retconned to connect the scientific organization to connect to the WWII Red Skull.  Over the years the sinister Hydra has had its tentacles connected to other Marvel super baddies like A.I.M. and Serpent Society.

2 Responses
    • It’s a little confusing because this Hydra, led by Queen Hydra and Agent: Bravo (cumbersome name) is different from the Hydra/H.A.M.M.E.R. led by Madame Hydra that was recently in Avengers.

      I love Diamondback.  And agree she was one of the great Cap love interests.  That storyline, her turning from villan to hero was great.  Classic.

      Bravo is another good retcon by Brubaker, much like Bucky/Winter Soldier.  It’s not as strong as the Bucky one was, but it’s still very good.  Have to read from #1 of the current Cap book to get the full Bravo story.

      •  I’m not as familiar with Bravo. Clearly from what I’ve read he’s a recurring struggle but I don’t know him very well. I do like his Hydra agent costumes with the yellow piping and skulls. It is a good look for the evil forces.

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