SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for “Captain America: Sam Wilson” #7, released today.
It’s no surprise that Steve Rogers is back to his youthful self; that twist was announced months ago, along with the news he would be headlining a second “Captain America” series to celebrate his 75th anniversary. Thanks to a bit of deux ex machina in the form of the reality-shaping, sentient Cosmic Cube known as Kobik, Rogers has been de-aged and is once more in peak fighting form, as seen in the freshly released “Captain America: Sam Wilson” #7 by Nick Spencer and Daniel AcuÃ±a.
However, along with Steve’s regained strength, agility and hairline, another component of Captain America made a return: The Red Skull, Cap’s longest-lived, most famous (and evil) foe, is also back. Revealed to be one of villains held prisoner in the reality-altering S.H.I.E.L.D.-run prison known as Pleasant Hill, the Skull makes his presence known while the compound/community burns, promising an even bigger threat ahead once the events of “Avengers Standoff” are over.
How this fits in with the Skull’s current role in “Uncanny Avengers,” where he’s currently holed up in the basement of Avengers Mansion (which has been converted into a stop on a sightseeing tour) remains to be seen. The character does have a long history with Cosmic Cubes, but as he has recently been seen outside the prison boundaries, it’s unclear how or why he was among its prisoners.