Warning: SPOILERS for Old Man Hawkeye #11
So fans can rest easy, we're not talking about the return of the Hydra-loyal, Nazi-allied Captain America that took over America in Marvel's Secret Empire event. That evil Steve Rogers is still around, but the latest breakthrough for Hydra actually takes place in the future. A future already well known to comic book fans as the birthplace of Old Man Logan. A future where Baron Zemo and Red Skull never stopped trying to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum that created Captain America.
And in the pages of Old Man Hawkeye #11 now on sale, the pair of supervillains have finally achieved their dream of a 'Captain Hydra' super-soldier. At least, they did... before Hawkeye made him lose his head.
- This Page: Hydra's Own Captain America Clone is Finally Born
- Next Page: Hawkeye Makes Hydra's Captain America's Head Explode
Hydra Creates Their Own Super-Soldier in Marvel's Future
For those who haven't been reading Old Man Hawkeye, this latest twist is actually the payoff to a plan decades in the making, which all began with the villains of the Marvel Universe uniting to take down the heroes, once and for all. Their surprise victory cost Clint Barton more than anyone else, with his family of former criminals betraying him, having been secretly recruited by Zemo, Red Skull, Magneto and Marvel's other top baddies.
As Hawkeye watched the Avengers murdered one by one, his own punishment was to be left alive. Now that his sight has started to fade, Clint is finally making his way to Hydra's stronghold - a former Weapon X cloning and test lab. As luck would have it, Clint has arrived just as round after round of failed attempts to recreate Steve Rogers, the first Super-Soldier, have finally produced a success. Now all the test subject needs is a Hydra uniform... and a shield, of course.
Old Man Hawkeye Meets Captain Hydra
In Hawkeye's defense, there really was no way he would know that Baron Zemo and Avalanche would be any greater a threat than the rest of the Thunderbolts he already killed on his revenge mission. And had he sought out these last names on his kill list only a few days earlier, he wouldn't have had to face a copy of Captain America at all. Before this success, Zemo had only deformed monstrosities begging for death to show for his years of work. Such is comic book coincidence.
As Clint makes his way into what turns out to be a gladiator match with the "jacked-up phony with a bootleg shield," he's given the sitrep by a far too pleased with himself hologram of Baron Zemo. Apparently, Clint is merely a plaything for their Hydra Super-Soldier to use in demonstrating his power to the Red Skull. But as Clint knows, the real Cap is more than his muscles or arsenal.
As we mentioned above, the image of Captain America with the infamous Hydra logo emblazoned on his chest and shield don't carry the same level of shock that they probably should, thanks to Secret Empire. But as Old Man Hawkeye's discovery proves, the image and legacy of Steve Rogers was twisted by his enemies on more than one Earth, in more than one future.
Still, Hawkeye didn't come on a mission for revenge against a helpless, seemingly brainwashed carbon copy of his old friend Captain America. But time has cost Clint more than his eyesight, and noble or not, an enemy who hits as hard as Steve Rogers isn't one the archer can stand against in his senior years.
Thankfully, Hawkeye gets some help from an unlikely friend, who knows that 'Captain Hydra' can be the strongest man in the world... but is no threat without his head.