Say it ain’t so, Cap.
The Marvel Universe became a little bit darker this week, as Steve Rogers hung up his shield for good.
Warning: this article contains spoilers for Captain America #7!
It’s been a rough few years for Steve Rogers, between temporarily losing his powers and then having an impostor become the Supreme Leader of Hydra. The public’s faith in Captain America has become shaken, and that’s something his enemies are only too willing to take advantage of.
This issue kicks off a new storyline called “Captain of Nothing,” as Steve finds himself in legal peril after being implicated in the murder of General Thunderbolt Ross. Rather than go rogue and try to clear his name, Steve opts to abandon the mantle of Captain America and turn himself in. He knows that the American public no longer trusts Captain America to do the right thing.
As this issue closes, Steve is being escorted to The Raft, ready to face a new life locked behind bars with many of his greatest foes. But hope still remains. Steve refuses to turn over his shield, leaving the possibility that another hero will rise up to fill the void left by Captain America.
This isn’t the first time Steve has abandoned the mantle of Captain America or turned against the government he usually serves. His narration in this issue calls back to 1974’s Captain America #176, where a disillusioned Steve abandoned his costume and started his journey toward becoming Nomad. This issue also makes reference to the events of 2006’s Civil War, where Cap led the resistance against the Super Human Registration Act.
Will Steve finally restore his battered reputation? Will another hero claim the mantle of Captain America, as Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson have done in the past? We’ll find out as “Captain of Nothing” continues.
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