Unless you’ve never read a comic before, most fans knew that when Steve Rogers, de-powered and aged at an accelerated rate, passed the mantle of Captain America to Sam Wilson–the superhero adventurer known as the Falcon–that he’d don the spangly stars-and-stripes costume once again somewhere down the line, no matter what Marvel Comics might have suggested otherwise. And while Steve, operating without the benefit of his super soldier serum, has played a role as leader of the Avengers Unity Division and as a member of SHIELD, it was only a matter of time before Marvel revitalized him to his youthful state.
Why? Not to be cynical about matters, but Marvel Studios has a Cap film hitting theaters in a few months–Captain America: Civil War–which will feature Steve in the reds, whites, and blues of the World War II hero and Disney likes to have some corporate synergy going on between its books and movies; that is, who’s in the costume in the movies matches who’s in the costume in the heroes’ four-colored world. (Notable exception: the female Thor in the comics vs. male Thor in the movies. Don’t pull at the threads hanging off my theory too much.)
The House of Ideas would probably disagree with me, but, lo and behold, Marvel just announced that a new series starring Steve Rogers titled Captain America: Steve Rogers will be hitting newsstands in the spring.
This announcement is a bit of a mixed bag for me, personally. I’m a huge fan from Steve Rogers going back decades and I was fairly jazzed to see Marvel’s released drawings of him wrapped in a modified version of his original costume, with a shield that resembled the one he wielded on the cover of 1941’s Captain America Comics #1. Nevertheless, however you might feel about the Falcon replacing Steve, Sam Wilson hasn’t had a lot of time to stretch his wings (no pun intended) in the role. When James Barnes–Steve’s former sidekick Bucky–filled in as Captain America after his partner’s apparent death, there was some notable anti-Bucky Internet chatter over the change. Still, as time marched on, so did the readers’ acceptance of Bucky as a Captain America they could rally behind. I love Sam as a character and I truly feel that under the right creators that someone could work some real magic and produce engaging stories centering on Cap-Falcon.
However, it looks like Falcon isn’t going anywhere and won’t be relinquishing his role as the shield-bearer, so Marvel will have two Caps trouncing about its shared comic book universe. My hope is that they can both coexist and serve as nice points and counterpoints to and for one another. The worry, though, is that one or both of the characters will inevitably suffer for it. Look at the past for proof. Writer Ed Brubaker slowly and carefully engineered Bucky’s return for years so that, when he eventually did wield the shield, fans were okay with that changing of the guard. And Bucky had a few years after that to act as Captain America, without Steve’s physical presence causing a disconnect for fans. When Steve eventually did return from a supposed death, Marvel let Bucky keep the role of Cap for a time, albeit briefly.
And in fairness to Sam’s character, even when he took on the mantle of Captain America from a powerless Steve, he never had the opportunity to work on his accord without the possibility of the former superhero to come in an lodge a disagreement with how Sam operated. Look, when Steve was supposedly dead, we all knew that the Powers That Be would resurrect him and reinsert him back into Marvel’s stories. However, I truly feel that Bucky as a character benefited and grew because there was no Steve around for a time. It was just Bucky. Post-Cap, although Marvel doesn’t always seem to know what to do with the character (don’t get me started on the Original Sin crossover), Bucky is better for how he was handled early on. Which, ultimately, makes me wonder if Marvel is doing a disservice to Sam Wilson by having Steve re-assume the mantle so soon, even if both characters will be operating in a separate yet similar fashion. Marvel obviously wants to build up Sam’s character and add layers of depth to him, so I can’t help but think that this move might be a hiccup. As always, it’s a “wait and see” type of thing.
Regardless, Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, written by Nick Spencer with Jesus Saiz on art, debuts this spring.
From Marvel’s official press release:
This spring, Marvel’s Steve Rogers takes back the iconic moniker that gave him notoriety and returns to the mantel of Captain America with CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS from writer Nick Spencer and artist Jesus Saiz.
First revealed on ABC’s “Captain America: 75 Heroic Years,” Steve Rogers will once again don the red, white, and blue and continue the adventures of Marvel’s Sentinel of Liberty in this all-new series, with an all-new mission statement while proudly carrying an all-new shield. And today, Marvel is pleased to present your first peek inside the bold new series that will take Captain America in a whole new direction!
“It’s an exciting time to be writing Captain America, for sure– this year is the character’s 75th Anniversary, not to mention the upcoming release of Marvel’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. And with CIVIL WAR II approaching in the Marvel Universe, it felt like the perfect time to restore Steve Rogers to his former self,” says series writer Nick Spencer.
Recently drained of the Super Soldier Serum that gave him his strength, speed and endurance, Steve Rogers was no longer fit to wield the shield and he passed the title of Captain America to his closest ally, Sam Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon. So what happens to Sam Wilson now that Steve has returned? Enemies of freedom beware – there are now two Captain Americas protecting the people!
“CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS and CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON will act as great counter-points to one another,” continues Spencer. “If you’re digging the topical, ripped-from-the-headlines approach we’re taking in Sam’s book, we’ve got plenty more of that to come. And if you’re up for a more timeless take, with Captain America facing off against Hydra and his classic rogues gallery, Steve’s book will be just the thing for you.”
The All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe is in turmoil. The threat of impeding Hydra forces grows by the day worming their way into Marvel’s Super Hero community. Anyone can be a threat, and no one is to be trusted. But what is Hydra’s ultimate goal? There is only one man who can challenge the threat of Hydra – Captain America himself – Steve Rogers!
Will his first day back on the job be his last? Find out when CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #1 arrives in comic shops and digital devices this spring!
CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #1
Written by NICK SPENCER
Art by JESUS SAIZ
Cover by JESUS SAIZ