Poor Cap…writer Rick Remender has been putting the star-spangled Avenger through his paces ever since re-launching the Captain America solo title under the MARVEL NOW banner back in the Fall of 2012. Not only did Remender send the Captain into a bizarre parallel dimension ruled by arch-fiend and all-around creepy bastard Arnim Zola (you know, that weird robot thing with the giant face in its chest), but he also trapped Cap there for over a decade where he raised Zola’s son Ian as his own, until the poor kid was tragically shot through the throat by Cap’s longtime love Sharon Carter, who had arrived to rescue her boo from “Dimension Z.”
Now, in Captain America #10, which hit shelves on August 28th, Remender has dealt Cap the ultimate sucker punch to the gut. Not only has he spent 12 years of his life in a horrific, savage, and just plain strange dimension; grown a shaggy blond beard; lost his adopted son in a moment of terrible misunderstanding; but—SPOILER WARNING—his main squeeze is also dead, falling to her death while trying to stop a Galactus-sized crazy-ass giant God version of Zola from entering the prime “616” Marvel Universe.
-Whew- got all that? There a lot more, like Zola’s nutty attempt to implant his consciousness into Cap (complete with creepy face in Cap’s belly), Zola’s warrior priestess daughter Jet Black (who made it out of Dimension Z and into the 616 with Cap), and the reveal on the final page of issue #10 that Cap’s son Ian survived and has taken up the mantle of Nomad to carry on the struggle against evil in Dimension Z. But, in the interest of preserving my sanity and preventing carpal tunnel syndrome, we’ll just move on.
So, what does S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Sharon Carter’s death mean for Cap and the Marvel Universe? Well, more obstacles and hard times—in a narrative sense—for Cap to overcome moving forward. In addition to losing the love of his life, Cap is now going to have to deal with the fact that although he spent 12 years in Dimension Z, only an hour passed in the Marvel universe, so he’s very much a changed man. Of course, since this is comics, I don’t suspect Sharon will remain dead for long. In fact, I’d be willing to bet large sums of money I don’t have that she’ll be back in March or April 2014, reappearing right alongside her live-action counterpart in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, played by Revenge star Emily Van Camp. See how that shakes out?