So, as many people predicted, Steve Rogers has been transformed into a man with a HYDRA history through the intervention of the cosmic cube, Kobik. Which means that, no matter how you slice it, Nick Spencer and Tom Brevoort… prevaricated… during their interviews last month. They said that this is Steve Rogers (“not a clone, not an imposter, not mind control, not someone else acting through Steve”), but it’s not. It’s an alternate history version of Steve—an imposter who doesn’t know he’s an imposter; a man being acted through without his knowledge or consent. Of course, Steve Rogers: Secret Nazi is a much more exciting (and lucrative) idea than Steve Rogers: Unfortunately Displaced in History (Again) (But Not Like Last Time) is, so I understand why Spencer and Brevoort felt they had to stretch it a bit. Comics is a tough business, after all.
There was one aspect of the reveal that surprised me, though, and that was that Kobik altered Steve Rogers on purpose. I had assumed her actions were a mistake, but the fact that they weren’t is actually very intriguing. It opens the story up to some very interesting potential developments down the line. Kobik is now living (undercover, it is to be presumed) with the Thunderbolts and getting very close to Bucky. When she turns on him—because, as we all know, Bucky Barnes can never have anything nice ever—she may feel a sense of remorse about it that will ultimately topple the Red Skull’s plans. Something is going to have to topple them in the end, we can’t leave Steve Rogers in Naziland forever, and Kobik developing feelings for the people she’s (unknowingly) betraying and lashing out at the Skull as a result is one of the more plausible possibilities.
TL;DR – I still give this story line a maximum of two years before things get back to more-or-less normal, and while I have very little interest in what happens to Steve as a result of this story (like Tony, Steve is a character that I prefer the MCU version of), I am curious to see how this situation effects the people around him: namely Bucky (and Sam and Sharon).