Captain America Got Upstaged by a Surprising Minor Spider-Man Villain
In United States of Captain America, Steve Rogers has been having trouble keeping up with his imposter, and there’s a classic Marvel villain hiding under his mask.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for United States of Captain America #2 from Marvel Comics, on sale now.
Steve Rogers has just discovered an entire network of grassroots heroes all paying homage to his ideals by taking the name of Captain America and recreating it for the needs of their communities. Unfortunately, a brazen assault left Steve without his iconic shield, and that shining symbol of America has been used to carry out multiple devastating attacks on the country it was made to protect. To make matters worse, but these coordinated strikes have been perpetrated by someone wearing Captain America’s old costume in a bid to discredit the hero entirely.
While Steve might not know the identity of the villain impersonating him yet, United States of Captain America #2 reveals that he’s not a completely unknown figure to the Marvel Universe. In fact, he’s the speedster Spider-Man villain known as Speed Demon.
Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson’s hunt for the former’s shield has led them from New York to Pennsylvania, where another underground Captain America has been framed for a terrorist attack that appears to have been carried out by the copycat Cap. When Steve first encountered his impostor, he was faster than he could keep up with, which hinted at his speedster status. While investigating the Pennsylvania attack in the pages of United States of Captain America #2 by Christopher Cantwell, Dale Eaglesham, Matt Milla, and VC’s Joe Caramagna, they are once again confronted by Steve’s speedy doppelganger. Like last time, neither Steve nor Sam can hold their own for long in the face of such a quick-footed opponent, something that the assailant takes no small amount of pride in.
Once the dust has settled and the villains start moving on to their next target, the false Captain America is revealed to be James Sanders, the Speed Demon, who is working with the Red Skull’s daughter, Sin.
When he was introduced to the Marvel Universe in 1969’s Avengers #69 by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema, Sanders had agreed to join the Grandmaster’s Squadron Sinister in exchange for the means to acquire incredible powers of his own. With the information provided by the Grandmaster, Sanders was given super-speed abilities before taking up the mantle of the Whizzer. Of course, the Squadron Sinister were no match for the Avengers, nor the Defenders after them, the latter defeat leading to the team disbanding when their memories were stolen by Doctor Strange.
Now that he has drawn the attention of every Captain America in the country, Speed Demon is on the fast track to supervillain stardom. Whatever Sin’s endgame actually is, it largely hinges on keeping Speed Demon’s identity a secret, which she cannot emphasize enough. But considering his long history of grandstanding and hogging the spotlight, Speed Demon might take himself down before Captain America ever gets a chance.
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