As Captain America moves closer to uncovering his greatest enemies’ latest plot, he learns that it involves the villain he first suited up to face.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for United States of Captain America #4, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
While Captain America has been fighting against the Red Skull and his villainous, fascist legacy ever since World War II, there is one real-world villain that serves as a more sinister embodiment of everything Captain America stands against: Adolf Hitler. In the Marvel Universe, the Third Reich’s legacy was not brought to an end during the Second World War but would manifest itself years later with the Nazi leader reemerging in the form of a supervillain known as the Hate-Monger. As Captain America and his star-spangled allies scramble to stop a new team of fascists, they discover that the Hate-Monger continues to fester in a new form.
Steve Rogers recently had his signature vibranium shield stolen from his home by the supervillain Speed Demon, who them launched a cross-country rampage under the guise of Captain America. As Steve, Sam Wilson and a new generation of Captains America pursued the villain, they learned that Speed Demon was in league with the Red Skull’s evil daughter Sinthea and the evil Commander Krieger, who all are intent on reviving the Third Reich in the heart of America. This leads to an epic showdown at a military base in Colorado where the Hate-Monger is kept confined to captivity as United States of Captain America #4 (by Christopher Cantwell, Ron Lim, Cam Smith, Scott Hanna and VC’s Joe Caramagna) unveils the evil enemy’s transformed state.
Although Hate-Monger’s corporeal form has been destroyed, its essence is visible as it forms an inhuman shape in a containment cell within the military compound. As Speed Demon and Sinthea deal with the troops around the base, Commander Krieger approaches Hate-Monger and shares her plans to free him and take advantage of increasing divisions across the United States to permanently split the American Republic and carve out their own fiefdom from the fractured country. Krieger also reveals that she has hypnotically been controlling Speed Demon and Sinthea all along, with the two supervillains simply serving as pawns in her grand scheme to free her master.
Hate-Monger was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963’s Fantastic Four #21 as a hooded figure armed with a “Hate-Ray” that caused those caught in its light to violently turn on one another. After attempting to permanently splinter the Fantastic Four, Mister Fantastic and Nick Fury foiled the villain’s plot and exposed him as a resurrected Hitler. Hate-Monger resurfaced in a cloned body prepared by Doctor Arnim Zola and later reappeared again with his consciousness transferred into an android body constructed by Zola and the Red Skull before his apparent destruction at the hands of Captain America.
Despite the heroes’ best efforts, the villains are successful in breaking Hate-Monger from his imprisonment, with the ephemeral enemy briefly taking on the appearance of Peggy Carter long enough to distract Steve Rogers to effect his escape, with Commander Krieger in tow.
Given his new state, tracking down Hate-Monger will likely be more difficult than ever, even with a growing number of heroes joining Steve. With the supervillain once again on the loose, Hate-Monger is a living example of the dark truth that true evil can never die.
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