WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Captain America #1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan and Sunny Gho, on sale Wednesday, July 4.
Secret Empire -- the 2016 Marvel event that saw an evil version of Captain America lead Hydra to victory as the governing force of the United States of America -- may be over, but it is still casting a long shadow over the legacy of Steve Rogers, and even the rest of the Marvel Universe to a certain degree. There was a fracture between the public's trust and Captain America, an uncertainty that stemmed from difficult political times.
As Marvel's line of titles re-focused on what made its headlining characters so heroic with its Legacy relaunch, Steve Rogers embarked on a cross-country tour of America on his bike in the hopes of re-connecting with the little people, and restore their confidence in the red, white and blue Avenger.
Steve earned his place as America's premier hero once more, but Hydra's influence continues to be felt. The Secret Empire is over, but there are still some people who believe Hydra was the rightful ruler. In a bid to reflect the current socio-political climate, Hydra apologists flood the streets, protesting loudly about the nazi-style organization's need to return. It's precisely these protests that bring Captain America to Washington, where he is forced to intervene in a march that escalates into all-out violence.
But while Steve Rogers' actions are reactionary, there are others who are ready to ensure Hydra is eradicated in a proactive manner. In Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Francis Yu's Captain America #1, a new player joins the book: X-Men villain Selene is here, and she has declared war on Hydra.