2022 cemented Captain America’s role in the Marvel Universe while also redefining important elements of the character’s lore, including his origins.
The year 2022 was a momentous one for Captain America, bringing many important changes to the Sentinel of Liberty. From a new origin story to the betrayal of his best friend, from failing the judgment of a Celestial god to being resurrected by the X-Men, the world of Steve Rogers has been turned upside down over the past year, and there is no going back.
In 2022, a new ongoing series featuring Steve Rogers was launched, Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty, written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, with art by Carmen Carnero. This is an ambitious story, whose authors are clearly not afraid of redefining one of Marvel’s most iconic characters. Over the course of the first seven issues, Captain America learns that he and some of his closest friends, including Bucky and Peggy Carter, are apparently just pawns in a huge “century game” run by a shadow council called the Outer Circle, whose symbol is imprinted on Cap’s iconic shield. When Steve confronts them, Bucky decides that the best way to beat the Outer Circle is to join them, and a confrontation between the two old friends ends in a big fight, which Steve loses.
It takes more than a bullet to stop Captain America, however, and Steve recruits a whole new team to take down the Outer Circle. This story, however, was not the only big thing involving Captain America in 2022. During the Judgment Day event, Steve was judged by the Celestial Progenitor, just like every other creature on Earth. The surprise was that the Progenitor actually found Captain America unworthy and later disintegrated him, which led to the shocking moment when the X-Men used their Resurrection Protocols on a non-mutant for the first time ever. Meanwhile, in the Avengers comics, Captain America is leading the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on a trip through time to confront the Doom Supreme and his new Masters of Evil, while the multiversal versions of Steve Rogers assemble to fight an army of Mephisto, which let readers see the legacy and nature of the character through many new lenses.
2022 Cemented Captain America’s Role In the Marvel Universe
The fact that Captain America was the protagonist of so many key stories of 2022 is a testament to the prominent role that Steve Rogers plays in the Marvel Universe. However, the best character development happened in Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty, which gave fans a poignant and nuanced depiction of Captain America as was not seen in years. The big changes to Captain America’s lore – with the revelation that the Super Soldier and the Winter Soldier are both projects spawned by the Outer Circle – may seem a bit excessive, but the story outlined by Lanzing and Kelly is very solid up to this point. In fact, Steve failing the judgment of the Progenitor makes way less sense than any lore changes happening in Sentinel of Liberty. Luckily, later in Judgment Day fans got the chance to see Cap lecturing a god, which was worth the entire event.
After such an impressive 2022, it is normal to wonder what the future holds for Captain America in 2023. Another big revelation is already brewing, as Sam Wilson has recently met Steve’s supposedly-dead adoptive son, Ian. Steve met Ian, who is the son of Arnim Zola, during his years in Dimension Z, but he is not aware that he is alive. Their inevitable reunion will probably be a major theme in the Captain America-centric big event of 2023, Captain America: Cold War, coming in April. After it cemented Captain America‘s role in the Marvel Universe and redefined important elements of his lore, 2022 will be remembered as the year that laid the foundations for the future development of the character.