This week, readers found out the truth behind the shocking revelation that Captain America has always been a double agent for Hydra. Rather than a lie or brainwashing, "Captain America: Steve Rogers" #2 explained that the sentient Cosmic Cube shard known as Kobik is working with the Red Skull and altered history to make Captain America a traitor.
"Wait," you may be wondering. "A Cosmic Cube? What's that?" Well, we're glad you asked!
The Cosmic Cube (known as a Tesseract in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), an amazingly powerful Marvel Comics artifact, actually just celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. The Cube debuted in "Tales of Suspense" #79 (by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia), where it was created by Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.). Even then, AIM's scientists were worried about what would happen if Red Skull were to get his hands on it. They were right to be concerned, because the very next issue (by Lee, Kirby and Don Heck) the Skull took control of the Cube. In the final part of the story (by Lee, Kirby and Giacoia), the Skull used the Cube to become the emperor of the world. Luckily, Captain America knew the Skull could not help but be responsive to Captain America's pleas to be his servant. When Captain America bowed down before his lifelong foe, the Avenger took the opportunity to successfully knock the Cube from the Skull's hands, which forced the Skull to dive into rocky waters, seemingly to his death, in search of the Cube.
The Cosmic Cube next played a role in the creation of the Super-Adaptoid in "Tales of Suspense" #82-84 (by Lee, Kirby, Dick Ayers and Frank Giaocia). This story introduced the idea that even a broken-up Cube is amazingly powerful, as piece of the Cube was used to make the powerful android who could adapt to the powers of the Avengers (much like Amazo with the Justice League of America). The Super-Adaptoid, or variations of the character, have since battled Marvel superheroes for decades.
The Cube next showed up in "Captain America" #115 (by Stan Lee, John Buscema and Sal Buscema). The Skull regained possession of the device and used it to switch bodies with Captain America! The Skull then banished Cap to an island where the Skull's allies, the Exiles, resided. Luckily, Captain America (using a disguise to hide his Skull appearance) befriended a young man named Sam Wilson, who Cap trained into becoming the Falcon. Finding himself bored, the Red Skull decided to switch bodies back to torture Captain America some more, allowing Cap and his new partner the opportunity to separate the Skull from the Cube in "Captain America" #119 (by Stan Lee, Gene Colan and Joe Sinnott). In the end, M.O.D.O.K., the leader of A.I.M., dissolved the Cube.