SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for "Captain America: Steve Rogers" #8, which is on sale now.
Ever since it was revealed that the Red Skull used a Cosmic Cube to rewrite Steve Rogers' history, thus shaping him into a HYDRA agent, more and more of Captain America's master plan has been revealed. We know that Rogers' main goal is to kill HYDRA's leader, the Red Skull, and that he's been orchestrating the eventual downfall of his "partner" and fellow Captain America, Sam Wilson. "Captain America: Steve Rogers" #8 from Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz takes Cap's plan one step further -- and it reaches outer space.
The issue's main events pick up just outside of Earth's atmosphere, catching up with Captain Marvel and her Alpha Flight soldiers as they prepare to defend Earth from an incoming alien invasion. A massive army of Chitauri warriors attacked, with only Carol, Alpha Flight, Maria Hill and Captain America standing in their way.
The massive melee caught the attention of Avril Kincaid, the Quasar-in-training that gained control to the Quantum bands after last year's "Avengers: Standoff" event. While training in a classified S.H.I.E.L.D. training compound with ex-Quasar Wendell Vaughn, Avril's new cosmic awareness picked up on the battle being fought just above Earth. Even though Captain Marvel and her team successfully beat back the Chitauri invasion force, the new Quasar felt that the danger hadn't passed from miles away.
Quasar was correct, as Alpha Flight detected a new invasion wave ten times the size of the one that was just defeated. Despite being a novice superhero, Avril Kincaid flew into battle against Wendell's wishes.
Avril's instincts paid off as with a flex of her arms, the entire invading army of Chitauri disappeared into tiny starbursts.
Quasar boarded the Alpha Flight space station and met with Captain Marvel and Maria Hill. The two experienced heroes congratulated Avril on a job well done -- but secret HYDRA agent Steve Rogers wasn't too thrilled. He dismissed Avril and chewed out Carol and Maria in private. Cap was angry because they had an agreement that Avril wouldn't fly into battle until she was fully trained. After the deaths of War Machine and Hulk and what happened with Iron Man, Steve no longer wants any heroes rushing into battles they aren't equipped to handle.
Of course one has to wonder if Steve was really upset that a powerful new player had entered the Marvel U -- one that could easily destroy a Chitauri army. That definitely seems to be the case, as Steve later revealed to his accomplice Dr. Selvig that the Chitauri are basically doing his bidding.
Rogers states that he's trying to orchestrate an alien invasion as a means to winnow the overpopulated Earth. The Chitauri, as Rogers explains, are "simple-minded creatures" that will "travel millions of light-years" just to find a queen. With the last page, it's revealed that that's exactly the ace that Steve Rogers has up his chainmail sleeve.
The issue reveals that Steve Rogers has hired a farmer in rural Montana to tend to what appear to be massive Chitauri eggs. And, going off of what the issue implies, it looks like one of those eggs contains a Chitauri queen. The issue concludes with the reveal that the eggs are about ready to hatch, meaning that the Chitauri will only become more determined to conquer the Earth. Of course Cap now has a new Quasar to deal with, one that can wipe a Chitauri army out of existence with a wave of her hands. We'll have to wait to see how this new Quasar disrupts Captain America's masterplan.
"Captain America: Steve Rogers" #9 arrives in stores on January 11, 2017.