Synopsis for “Now Begins the Nightmare!”
Continued from last issue…
The Red Skull, once more wielding the Cosmic Cube, has materialized in the hotel room recently rented out by Captain America. Facing a frightened Captain America in his street clothes, the Skull wills the cube to modify Cap’s clothing into his uniform so that he can crush his enemy in the appearance he knows him in. Captain America takes an attempt at attacking the Skull, however he the former Nazi is only toying with him and allows him to punch an illusion before blasting Cap in the back. He decides to torment Captain America for a little bit before utterly destroying him, but first he explains how he managed to regain the Cosmic Cube: He explains that after the Cube disappeared, it was unearthed when a volcano erupted in the Mediterranean and was recovered by a poor fisherman. Discovering the Cube’s power, the fisherman used it to make the people of his island all wealthy. When reports of the Cube’s resurfacing reached Exile Island, the Skull would order his minions to recover it. With the Cube back in his hands, the Skull would refuse to share in the power of the Cube with his fellow Exiles, he would torture them instead before teleporting off to get revenge against Captain America. With his explanation complete, the Red Skull would then use the Cosmic Cube to transport Cap away top some alien world.
Meanwhile, at SHIELD headquarters, Rick Jones is looking for Captain America and asks Sharon Carter if she has seen him. Although Sharon is busy with testing a new SHIELD weapon, she tells him that he hasn’t seen Captain America since she rejected his request that she leave SHIELD. Rick next goes to Avengers Mansion and find that neither Jarvis nor Yellowjacket has seen him neither. Remembering the resources he has, Rick gets in touch with his old gang of Ham radio enthusiasts the Teen Brigade and asks them all to keep a look out for Captain America and report back any sightings. However despite all of this, Rick can’t help but shake the idea that Captain America is abandoning him as a sidekick because Cap thinks he doesn’t have what it takes to replace Bucky.
Elsewhere, the Red Skull continues to use the Cosmic Cube in ways to drive Captain America mad, hurtling the hero from plane of existence to different worlds. Ultimately he shrinks Cap down and terrorizes him back in his hotel room until he finally decides to come up with the ultimate revenge scheme ever: Searching Cap’s mind for the person who means the most to the Avenger, the Red Skull uses the Cosmic Cube to teleport Sharon Carter in the room. Then, in the ultimate jest to make his revenge complete, the Red Skull uses the Cube to switch bodies with Captain America. Seeing Steve as the Red Skull, she seeks protection from the Skull in Cap’s body. When Cap tries to explain to Sharon what’s happened all she can believe is that the Red Skull has gone mad.
This story is continued next issue…