WARNING: This article contains minor SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War Prelude
Captain America may be a fugitive in the MCU, but he's still taking the fight to ISIS. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Steve Rogers would be unable to quit being a hero, even if his name and shield are stripped from him. After his battle with Iron Man in Captain America: Civil War the former Avenger was forced to go underground with his most trusted allies. His team may be Earth's only hope in The Avengers: Infinity War, so it's a good thing he's been keeping busy battling terrorists of the human variety.
The new insight into how Captain America-- sorry, Steve Rogers has spent his time between Civil War and the arrival of Thanos comes from Marvel in comic book form. After covering the final scenes of Civil War, Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War Prelude comic sheds light on what happens next for Marvel's movie heroes. For Captain America and his Winter Soldier allies, it's a mission to keep the citizens of the world safe from the dangers they helped to unleash. First up, Chitauri weapons that have fallen into the hands of ISIS soldiers.
Technically they're the version of ISIS that exists in Marvel's Cinematic Universe, the same continuity in which the Prelude comic takes place (while the group isn't named, the black and white flag of ISIS/ISIL on their van is hard to miss). In the past these prequel comics have mainly covered the same ground as recent films, keeping the events fresh in fans' minds before the newest adventure. But writer Will Corona Pilgrim and artist Tigh Walker offer up new scenes that fans will want to know about. In particular, the mission sending Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, and Sam Wilson undercover in Syria to foil an ISIS weapons exchange.
The weapon isn't detailed or explained beyond being "Chitauri-fueled weapons," but the invading army from the first Avengers movie has become a leading source of alien threats in the MCU. Thankfully, Captain America and Falcon are on the case, even if they're operating outside of the American military or government's chain of command. It seems unlikely that a Marvel film will tackle real-world terrorist groups, so it's nice to see the comics make the effort. That's not a dig at the MCU, merely the reality of superhero blockbusters: with a villain like Thanos starting the Infinity War, little room remains for any other targets.
Still, with Steve, Sam, and Nat heading off to Lebanon to tackle another alien weapons exchange apparently taking place below anyone else's radar, here's hoping more adventures follow in the next issues. The Prelude comic may be only Part One of the series, but it's already offered up plenty of character details and explanations. And already, it's seeming more and more like recommended reading in the lead-up to Infinity War.
There's a heartwarming moment of Hawkeye "officially" retiring from the superhero battle to return home to his family (before returning to Infinity War as Ronin). There's also some clarification into why Tony Stark might end up in a tragedy by the end of Infinity War, establishing that Civil War left Iron Man alone in his war on weakness. That may end up costing him the closest thing he has to a student in Spider-Man, but there's always room for Tony Stark to be reminded of the power of teamwork.
That's a lesson Steve Rogers doesn't need, building his trio of 'Secret Avengers' in the shadows of the MCU. They'll be called into the light when Thanos comes to collect the Infinity Stones... but whether it's ISIS or a cosmic conqueror, Steve's dislike for bullies remains his defining feature.
Avengers: Infinity War Prelude Part One is available now.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018