Marvel Comics’ Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, out today, has Rogers saying “Hail Hydra” on the final page of the issue.
The issue explains how Rogers was recruited as a boy by the Nazi-esque organization Hydra and has been an undercover agent since. Comic book fans have responded in horror that their symbol of American heroism has actually been a member of the organization he has fought for 75 years.
“The most basic reason for doing this is to see If you’re paying attention and make readers long for the next issue,” said Tom Brevoort, executive editor of Marvel Comics. Brevoort says that if readers go back to earlier issues, they will see how and why things are the way they are. This plot point has reportedly been in the works since Nick Spencer, the writer of the series, started writing the Captain America titles, possibly at the end of 2014.
“Captain America is not just one of the most recognizable faces in the Marvel Universe. He’s an inspiring figure, somebody who brings people together…What you hope is that this story only serves to illustrate how powerful that symbol is,” Spencer said.
Spencer and Brevoort have stated this plot point is not a gimmick and that it has been developing for years, but some fans are skeptical. The only thing left to do is wait for the next installment of the comic book series and see how Marvel is going to spin this.