Is it bad that I really like the Hydra Cap thing? I'm not a Nazi, but I find the concept fascinating. There's been a bit of controversy having a comic with Cap hailing Hydra yesterday, on the anniversary of a Jewish revolt against the Nazis, but Nick Spencer isn't actively a Nazi. I feel that the conclusion of Secret Empire is likely to end badly, but Nick Spencer could have a hidden twist that will blow us away. My theory for Hydra Cap is that Kobik essentially replaced normal Cap with a Hydra cap from another universe. Maybe the normal Cap is stranded in the Hydra universe, or just dormant inside his own mind, as the Hydra cap persona has been forced into his own body.
I'm really excited for Secret Empire. If people don't like it, that's fine with me, but I feel that the whole Nick Spencer Captain America story, since Secret Wars, has been fascinating. I've grown bored of many of the stories in ANAD, and the whole Hydra Cap is refreshing and interesting to me.
I also hope that people understand that this Hydra Cap story isn't:
A pro-Nazi message by Nick Spencer, trying to purposefully shame the Jewish creators of Captain America.
Nick Spencer trying to shame America and its effort during World War 2.
I could write about a protagonist who's a Nazi, but still not be a Nazi. My protagonist could be evil, but that doesn't make me evil. And maybe, Nick Spencer really hates Captain America, and wants to ruin his name among the comic community, but I think that he's just trying something different.
I don't hate Captain America. In fact, I love Ed Brubaker's Cap run, including its development of Cap of being a good character. I'm also not a fucking Nazi.
However, I will criticize the comic.
I agree with some of your points, actually. The voiceover was annoying for me, particularly Nick Spencer's timing of it.
Again, I partially agree. Nick Spencer has been throwing us above, through, under, and into plot points before we've even had time to catch our breath. Again, another timing issue.
Is Secret Empire the nadir of Nick Spencer's Cap stories? Maybe, but I guess we'll have to wait. I guess that events, especially since recently, are doomed to be disappointing. Also, Secret Empire is part of All-New All-Different Marvel, one of the nadirs of Marvel's history, with the movies keeping Marvel out of serious financial trouble. Everyone's disappointed with ANAD, so our expectations are lowered, and so we would usually view ANAD's stories as worse than they really are.
Why am I so fond of Nick Spencer's recent stories? Because I'm tired of the few-issue story arcs that appear in most of ANAD's runs. I tend to lose interest with repetitiveness (as do most people), and the repetitiveness is further strengthened by the amount of books being released and then cancelled. Again, I stress that Hydra Cap is a novel idea (in my opinion), and shows that Nick Spencer has (maybe too much) courage with trying new stuff. I care little about an uninteresting hero taking on an evil villain most of the time. I find Hydra Cap compelling, dark, and interesting.
Damn, that was long...