The controversy is here. With a power battle for the Hydra taking place between Baron Zemo and Red Skull, Steve Rogers finds himself caught between S.H.I.E.L.D and Hydra. All is not as it seems in Captain America: Steve Rogers #1.
Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 is very much a narrative driven issue. There are a few action packed scenes, however, this is telling the story of the man lost in time… again.
It opens up with Steve’s father abusing his mother. She is rescued by a charming woman that believes that Steve is destined for greatness. However, she conveys this message in a way that suggests that she knows his future as Captain America.
This issue jumps from the past to the present every so often. In the present, Steve is dealing with a Hydra force that is driven by the Red Skull. However, this Hydra is different as they are being built from the grassroots. Red Skull makes use of some rather contemporary reasons for his hatred of the world and its governing bodies. He is also not the only threat as Baron Zemo believes that he is the owner of Hydra. Both villains assemble their recruits. While Zemo is assembling a rather laughable bunch of metahumans, Red Skull is forming a Hydra that brainwashes the weak into become weapons for his cause.
Captain America has had his youth restored once again thanks to the Cosmic Cube. He has gone back into his twenties, leaving a rather awkward looking romance between this young Steve and a wrinkled Sharon Carter. Carter is now in command of Rogers and his side-kicks: Rick Jones, Jack Flag, and Free Spirit. The banter between these characters, as well as the banter between Zemo’s misfits, makes for some great entertainment.
The art is good. It is highly stylised leaving and this works well at conveying the emotions of the characters involved in this issue. The Captain America costume looks great with the lovely panels and subtle colour variations but the other characters in this story look rather bland, especially when it comes to costume design. At some points, the stylised art becomes overdone resulting in that detail comic feel where the characters just look to crisp and colourful. The flashback sequences worked way better in this regard.
This is a rather average and predictable comic. Even still, nobody would expect the controversial conclusion.