Captain America’s Evil Redesign Will Make You Miss His Deadliest Shield


Captain America’s Hydra phase was controversial for a lot of fans, but the Age of Apocalypse proves his bladed shield deserves a comeback.

As one of Marvel Comics’ oldest heroes, Captain America has had several fan-favorite looks over the course of his eight decades of publication history. And whether he’s fighting alongside the Avengers or flying solo, Steve Rogers is almost always wielding some version of his iconic star-spangled shield. A dynamic staple of the Captain America identity that serves as both symbol and weapon, Steve’s shield is arguably even more iconic than he is.


Not all of Cap’s shields are created equal, however, and Steve has wielded more than one during his time donning the red, white, and blue. One of his more recent tools – the deadly shield he wielded after being brainwashed as a Hydra sleeper agent – is far more of an offensive weapon than Steve typically uses. And in one alternate timeline design for the Sentinel of Liberty, its destructive capabilities are more vital to Captain America’s look than ever before.

Related: Captain America’s Shield is Hiding An Evil Secret in Plain Sight

Paul Renaud’s Age of Apocalypse variant cover for 2016’s Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 by Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz paints the Star-Spangled Avenger in a dark and deadly new light. Reflecting the suitably dire nature of the Age of Apocalypse, this design suffocates the more traditional color scheme of Steve’s blue and read uniform with a stark black and gray palette. Highlighting the Age of Apocalypse’s utilitarian emphasis on the survival of the fittest, the only real color comes in the form of the dangerous photon blade hidden within Steve’s Hydra shield, which now infuses his entire costume.

Captain America Goes Apocalyptic

While the blade is still present in the standard design for the Secret Empire suit, it dominates the Age of Apocalypse design, with red neon accents on Captain America’s uniform reflecting the deadly nature of this reality’s Super-Soldier. The Age of Apocalypse is a timeline in which the mutant villain Apocalypse conquers Earth, turning it into a dystopian police state. The cover imagines the modern Captain America dropped into this classic story, and sees a corrupted Steve doing battle in a fiery America. If there was ever a world that justified Captain America trading defense for deadly power, it’s the Age of Apocalypse.

Hydra Cap may have been a controversial character, but there’s no denying he fits into this twisted version of Marvel’s future. Hydra’s militaristic Captain America is no hero, but it’s all but certain he’d stand against Apocalypse’s mutant-supremacy, setting up an epic villain vs villain clash that this cover hints would be epic to witness. The evil take on Captain America’s shield made an impressive statement about what a corrupted Steve Rogers would actually embody. This awesome Age of Apocalypse cover is a reminder of just how intimidating the photon-blade shield was, and will likely make fans hope that the evil Captain America will return soon to do battle with the heroic Steve Rogers.

Next: Captain America’s Best Ever Shields (And Why They’re Great)


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