Captain America is Marvel's golden boy: he is the American spirit personified, a man who always does (or tries to do) the right thing. He's a protector of the innocent, a defender of the weak.

And now he is also super evil, or at least that's what is implied in Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, available now at a comic shop near you.

Spoilers for the issue follow!

So what's going on? There are several different plot threads weaved throughout the issue. The first is that Captain America is now young again, and he's out fighting evildoers with sidekicks Jack Flag and Free Spirit.

The other two plot beats revolve around the evil organization Hydra and its ability to recruit seemingly good people. One story tells of a desperate man who joins the organization looking for a place to belong.

Another seems to imply that Steve's mother, Sarah Rogers, may have also been involved in Hydra. Sarah is rescued from her abusive husband by a mysterious woman from Hydra, who seems to have taken a special interest in young Steve. This woman hands Sarah a flier for a Hydra Society meeting.

That leads us to the end of the issue, where Captain America seemingly throws Jack Flag out of a plane to his death. The issue ends with Cap saying "Hail Hydra."

What the heck is going on? Captain America has fought Hydra for decades, so why is he suddenly working for it? There are a number of possibilities. The first is that Captain America is some kind of Hydra sleeper cell, having only now been activated to do Hydra's bidding. Another is that Captain America has seemingly always been a Hydra agent in disguise, perhaps because of his mother's Hydra influence.

It's more than a little shocking, but some fans are already upset. The idea that Captain America has always been secretly evil doesn't seem to sit well with many readers. It also doesn't make all that much sense at the moment. If Captain America was some part of a grand Hydra plan, wouldn't Steve's Hydra enemies like Red Skull and Baron Zemo know about it? Why is this all coming about now?

No doubt more information and explanations will be coming next issue, but for now fans are left to ponder everything they thought they knew about Marvel's red, white and blue hero.

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