Captain America’s new lease on lifeWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Captain America, Steve Rogers, is coming back. You’re probably thinking three things: “The guy with the shield?” “I didn’t know he was gone,” and, “Steve who?”
I don’t blame you, really. Among superheroes, Captain America’s not a household name, despite his almost 70 years of history. And if you do know who he is you still may not be aware that his real name’s Steve Rogers – and that he’s dead. He died back in 2007 and replaced almost immediately by his former sidekick, Bucky.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Almost the exact same thing’s happening over at DC Comics with Batman, yes, but before you start yelling “copycat” please be assured that “sons” replacing “fathers” was first popular right about the time of the first cave paintings. Bucky, longtime assistant to Cap, took up the famous shield to honor his fallen mentor and has won the hearts and minds of not only the denizens of the Marvel Universe but those of even the most jaded comic book fans – and that ain’t easy.
Then, just this month, “Captain America” #600 hit the stands and with it the news that Steve Rogers is rising from the dead. As usual, comic fandom cracked down the middle and lines were drawn quicker than you can say “William Shatner and Chris Pine.” Those who hoped for Steve’s return feel justified in their faith; those who embraced Bucky and writer Ed Brubaker’s long and thoughtful tenure with the character feel cheated. Its old school versus new school and Marvel’s in the middle, albeit poised to sell a whole lot of comics.
By the way, you may also be thinking that 600 issues is a whole lot of Captain America. Well, it isn’t so. Not exactly. See, Marvel’s playing a little fast and loose with the numbering to get another milestone issue out to coincide with their 70th anniversary this year. The “Captain America” title actually began life in 1959 as “Tales of Suspense,” a horror- thriller anthology. Cap didn’t enter into the equation until issue #59 in 1964 but ran with the series from there until its cancellation with #454. Since then, three more series called “Captain America” have appeared and Marvel’s decided to add them all into the mix to arrive upon 600 issues. What they won’t do for one of their oldest heroes.
This July 1st will see the first issue of a five-issue series entitled, appropriately enough, “Reborn.” In it, Ed Brubaker will unveil the story of Steve Rogers – Captain America – and his return to life. Will he willingly take back the shield? Will Bucky object? Will the Red Skull gnash his teeth in fury? The legend continues…