Cap’s long and winding roadWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Captain America, Marvel Comics’ original patriotic hero, has got it goin’ on with a big-budget film debuting July 22, but pity poor Bucky, his former sidekick. Created in 1941, Bucky was unceremoniously killed to add pathos to Cap’s 1960s revival, but revived just a few short years ago to take up the famous shield when Cap himself was killed. Now he’s dead again. Killed in last month’s “Fear Itself” No. 3, Bucky’s death paves the way for Cap to come back with a new No. 1 … and that big-budget film. Got all that?
“One of the first things writer Ed Brubaker did when he took on the job as the main Captain America scribe was to reintroduce Bucky Barnes, Cap’s WWII partner, to modern audiences,” said Monarch Cards and Comics’ Ed Katschke. “At the time, this was something of a controversy among comic fans as Bucky was one of the few superheroes to die and stay dead. Despite initial resistance to the idea, fandom has since embraced Bucky’s return, especially since his promotion to the star-spangled tights.”
But big, splashy movies do funny things to comic book publishers. It makes them want to flood the racks with product in the hopes that the people who’ll see — and hopefully enjoy — the films will want to seek out the source material. And that means Captain America must be Steve Rogers, and Steve must have a new, clean start that welcomes potential new consumers.
“Of course, with the movie coming out and everything, it was no great surprise that Steve Rogers was scheduled to once again don the mantle of Captain America,” Katschke said. “It’s a role he was frankly born to play and even when he wasn’t carrying the shield he never really stopped fulfilling that role. The big surprise for me was Marvel killing Bucky once again to make room for Roger’s return.
“I was actually looking forward to two Captain Americas running around, but naturally if I had the choice then Rogers would be the one to carry the shield. The creative team behind the first story arc of the new ‘Captain America’ No. 1 includes regular Cap writer Ed Brubaker as well as award-winning artist Steve McNiven, perhaps best known to comic fans as the artist behind ‘Civil War’.”