The Marvel Universe has faced one of its darkest moments. Captain America was revealed to have been secretly loyal to HYDRA his entire life. How can this be? Basically, this all happened because of a cosmic cube that gained sentience. Kobik, the cube in the form of a little girl, believed Red Skull was right with his ideals and transformed Steve Rogers’ past.
Having taken over the United States, Captain America and HYDRA have caused untold death and destruction. The heroes are ready to make their final stand against him. With a nearly complete cosmic cube under his control, there may be no stopping Cap’s Secret Empire.
There will be spoilers for Secret Empire #10 below.
When Captain America, in a HYDRA-colored armor, confronted the gathered heroes, he ordered them to stand down. Knowing what was at stake, the heroes had no choice. The “Avengers Assemble” battlecry was let out, and they charged at their former friend and teammate with everything they had.
They didn’t stand a chance. Steve Rogers now possessed the power of a god. He could easily rewrite reality however he wished. It seemed as if all the heroes were defeated, but a plan had been put in motion. Sam Wilson appeared to surrender his shield and the final fragment of the cosmic cube to Rogers. Kobik was then able to reform and restored the changes Rogers just made. She also brought the memory and essence of the man he used to be. Kobik brought Captain America to face the evil ruler.
The two versions of Steve Rogers fought. They fought for the future of the Marvel Universe. The other heroes could only sit back and watch. This was something the true Cap had to do on his own. Unfortunately, being so evenly matched, it seemed as if the fight would never end.
The tables were turned when both spied Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, off to the side. Evil Cap was able to reach it first only to discover, he was not worthy.
With Captain America’s victory, one would think everything could revert back to normal. The heroes could get Kobik to change everything back. All the events of Secret Empire could be erased and the dead brought back to life. Except, that’s not what happened.
Kobik realized the error of her ways in falling under Red Skull’s influence. She restored the history that had been altered to what it should be, but she didn’t change everything back. She left the death and destruction as a reminder.
What does all this mean?
The Marvel Universe will have to rebuild. Despite Captain America being transformed by a cosmic cube, can the heroes and public trust him once more? Will they be able to forgive what happened, even if it was beyond his control? Rick Jones and Black Widow are still dead. The death of numerous others, including those in the destruction of Las Vegas, can’t be overlooked. There was nothing Steve Rogers could do, but how can the heroes simply fight alongside him without being reminded of what happened?
It won’t be an easy time. Thankfully, the fight between Cap and the evil version was broadcast on television. There will be a record of the battle and victory. This could help ease the mind of those questioning the motives of Captain America and allow them to regain their trust and faith in the hero.
Heroes have fallen under the influence of evil forces before. They have been replaced by the shape-shifting Skrulls or have been the victims of mind control. With all the destruction at the hands of Galactus, the superhero Civil War, and other battles, the citizens of the Marvel Universe have shown they can persevere. They have hope, just as readers can have hope with the return of the true Captain America. It’s a new dawn for the Marvel Universe.
Secret Empire #10 is written by Nick Spencer with art by Steve McNiven and additional art by Jay Leisten, Rod Reis, David Marquez, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, Jesus Abutrov, and Ron Lim. Check it out to see the full battle.