Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #2 ramps up the apparent conspiracy around Steve Rogers' legendary shield that was uncovered in the new series' debut issue, and as it turns out, some of Steve's oldest and closest allies including Bucky Barnes (AKA the Winter Soldier) and Peggy Carter may be in on the secret.
So what's the deal with Cap's allies, and is Steve's shield really "their symbol, not yours," as Steve was cryptically warned in the first issue?
Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #2 from writers Colin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, artists Carmen Carnero and Nolan Woodard, and letterer Joe Caramagna opens in the wake of Cap's encounter in issue #1 with a new, apparently villainous version of the Destroyer, one of Steve Rogers' WWII allies.
First, after writing a letter to Bucky who he hasn't seen since the preceding issue's events, Steve meets with two of his older WWII allies, Roger Aubrey, the former Destroyer whose identity was stolen by the villain in the previous issue, and Pam (likely Pam Hawley, a former ally and lover of Nick Fury), who have been decoding secret messages related to the unknown new villains who have been attacking Steve, including the new Destroyer.
Steve then discovers (thanks to his young new support staff) that the man who artistically designed the shield itself is named David Agboje, with the already known Myron MacLain actually building it.
This is the first time David Agboje and his involvement with the creation of Cap's shield have been mentioned in the Marvel Universe, and it seems that even in continuity he's a mystery, as his records seem to have disappeared after designing Cap's shield.
After a chance encounter with a boxing student Steve is teaching self-defense to that leads him to decode the villain group's next target - a massive renewable energy power plant in Germany known as 'the Forge' - Steve heads there to fight them off.
He discovers that the new villains are using technology from HYDRA, AIM, and The Hand, and may be known as 'the Tithed'. But before he can uncover more, the apparent leaders of the group - five mysterious villains known as the Love, the Money, the Revolution, the Machine, and the Power - appear in a massive ship bearing a version of the design of Steve's shield, launching a devastating and potentially deadly attack on the Super Soldier.
As he's blasted into the ground, he remembers the words "It's not your symbol, it's theirs."
As there are five points on a traditional star, there are five villains in the group that's taking on Steve. And there are apparently five points in another conspiratorial group including some of Steve's oldest friends and allies.
While Steve takes on the Tithed, Bucky is revealed to be in Madripoor, punching his way into an exclusive card game. He confronts the dealer directly, who doesn't seem to appreciate Bucky blowing not just his own identity, but hers as well, as she's revealed to be Peggy Carter in disguise.
Yes, the same Peggy Carter who fought at Steve’s side in WWII. She’s been alive and well in the current Marvel Universe for a few years now.
In Sentinel of Liberty #1, Bucky crossed someone off a board of five people connected by strings in the shape of a star (insert your Charlie Day meme here), saying "one down, four to go." Along with Bucky himself, he reveals that Peggy is one of these five conspirators - though it remains to be seen exactly who all five are, what they're hiding, and how it connects to the new villains who seem to be known as 'the Tithed.'
Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #3 goes on sale August 10, while Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #4 has been promised to reveal more of the code that's being used by the Tithed.
Get the answers to all your questions about the origins and history of Captain America's shield.