Written by Chris Micieli
Cover Rank: 6/10
In keeping with the Secret Empire series, this Omega issue is not as appealing to the eye as much as the 10 issues that came before it. It’s neat that they incorporated both Hyrda Cap and classic Cap into one hero, but it falls flat for some reason.
Best Variant Issue: 9/10
Michael Turner issue. Simple and awesome. The Captain as we know him with a painted American flag behind him.
What I Like:
For starters, the page layout and design is top notch. The story goes back and forth a couple times to different characters, but the main arc here is a discussion between Hydra Cap and classic Cap in a cell that’s holding the former. Those pages and artwork really stand out and when you look at it as a whole page it really makes you appreciate the fact that a human can draw such a thing.
Marvel seems to enjoy doing these types of one offs that follow an all encompassing series of their characters. They did it with both Civil Wars and now again with Secret Empire. The only difference here is that both men are alive where as in the previous stories, one character was speaking to a dead one. It’s a slow moving issue with no action whatsoever, which I’m OK with if the substance is effective, which it kind of is.
Both men go back and forth claiming what they do is for the best of the country. Obviously what classic Cap says makes you say ‘right on! USA!’, but it’s what Hydra Cap has to say that really make you think. He makes some really valid points that almost trick you into thinking maybe he really was the right person to lead the nation, and before the issue is complete we now know he still has plenty of followers.
What I didn’t like:
What’s good with the art is also the bad. When the story shifts to other characters, it’s not only unnecessary but the art style completely changes. Two artists we obviously used here and it throws off the tone of the story.
In the beginning of the issue, classic Cap goes to the cell Hydra Cap is being held in and the simple question is asked by him which is why did you come here? Leave it to Marvel to dance around this for about 20 pages before we get an answer, which is of the most basic responses. Classic Cap just wanted to look the man who took everything from him in the eye. (Queue my own eye roll here). That’s the best you could do Marvel?
The discussion between the two never really goes anywhere. They just puff their chest out too each other about how they were doing what’s right for the country. It’s like watching two children fight over who’s better at freeze tag.
This isn’t to say there is not a great moment or some substance that can be used for the future. Most notably is a moment where classic Cap is talking about the cleanup that followed in the wake of Hydra Caps defeat. Classic Cap saw a child buried in the rubble and he reached out to rescue him. The child’s initial reaction was, of course, to reach back. When he saw it was Captain America trying to help him, the child recoiled. So obvious damage has been done to the reputation of classic Cap thanks to the actions of Hydra Cap. This moving forward could be an amazing story. About how everything Captain America has worked for and is known for is shattered and needs to be built back in the eye of the public.
Despite the rather mundane issue, it did have a solid ending. When Cap leaves the cell and their discussion comes to an end, guards of the cell need to put Hydra Cap back in chains and locked up. As they do this they press him against a wall to subdue him. One guard is up by Hydra Cap’s head while the others are fastening the chains by his feet. This gives the guard by his head the opportunity to whisper ‘hail hydra’ into the ear of Hydra Cap. Just goes to show you people still will follow him even if he was on the losing side of the war.
What I’m Looking Forward To:
It will be interesting to see where all of this goes. Captain America gaining the confidence of the nation is a golden opportunity here, but what, if anything, is going to happen with Hydra Cap? Is he to remain locked up and we, the reader, just slowly forget about him? Or will he make some grand return in due time as he plans a counterattack. He obviously still has followers. Also don’t forget about Sam Wilson Captain America, which mean technically we have three versions of Captain America now. This could be good or bad for Marvel.