Captain America #12 Gives Steve Rogers a New Status Quo

Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Captain America #12!

Captain America is one of the most beloved heroes in the MCU, but he’s had a considerably harder time in Marvel’s comic book universe. During Secret Empire, a Hydra corrupted version of Cap seized control of the world. Steve Rogers managed to defeat his counterpart, but his image has never fully recovered. Now, in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Captain America run, Steve’s problems have escalated. The Power Elite have framed Cap for the murder of General Ross and convinced the public that Hydra Cap and the real Captain America are one and the same.

In Captain America #12 by Coates and artist Adam Kubert, Steve finally acknowledges the he can’t fix this problem as Cap. So he retired his uniform and hung up his shield. But that doesn’t mean that Steve is done fighting. Instead, he’s reclaiming an old costume that doesn’t hide his identity.

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This isn’t the first time that Steve has abandoned his Captain America persona. In the background of the page above, you can see the plunging neckline of Steve’s Nomad costume on the far right. Back in the ’70s, Steve became Nomad because he was disillusioned by the original Secret Empire ordeal. In the ’80s, Cap resigned from his role rather than let the government dictate his actions. Instead, Steve wore a predominately black costume and called himself “The Captain.”

But this is the first time that there hasn’t been a Captain America in the Marvel Universe since 2007. Steve “died” in the aftermath of Civil War, and Bucky Barnes became the new Cap in 2008. Steve eventually reclaimed the role and then had to step down again in 2014. However, Sam Wilson, a.k.a. the Falcon, became the new Cap immediately following Steve’s resignation. But even that change wasn’t permanent.

Superhero comics are cyclical, and the original status quo almost always returns at some point. But for now, Steve Rogers is back in the costume he wore shortly after he came back from the dead. And in place of his shield, he’s readopted his holographic shield from the ’90s.

What do you think about Steve Rogers’ new status quo? And how long do you think it will last? Let us know in the comment section below!

Recommended Reading: Captain America Vol. 1: Winter In America