Captain America is back — and this time he’s brandishing a firearm.
The famous red-white-and-blue patriot was killed in “Captain America” No. 25 last March. In Wednesday’s issue, “Captain America” No. 34, Captain America’s former teen sidekick, Bucky, now carries the star-spangled shield.
Bucky, who spent decades under hypnosis as a Soviet agent, carries a firearm as well as the shield.
“It’s a little jarring for some people to see that,” said the book’s writer, Ed Brubaker, in an interview with the New York Daily News. “[But] people forget that Captain America carried a gun a lot in World War II. Every three covers there was a shot of Captain America with a machine gun or a flamethrower – or an atom bomb.”
Jim Lane, owner of Dragonfyre Comics, 1501 N Meridian, said he’d heard some customers complain about the new Captain America carrying a gun in preview images released by Marvel, but he thinks it works with the character.
“He doesn’t have the power that (original Captain America) Steve Rogers had, so he’s had to pick himself up an equalizer,” Lane said.
Brubaker told Vaneta Rogers at Newsarama.com that Bucky’s ongoing redemption dovetailed nicely with the death of Captain America, even if it wasn’t planned in advance.
“I had no clue until I wrote issue No. 26 or No. 27 that Bucky was actually going to end up taking the mantle,” Brubaker said. “It didn’t occur to me that it was the next evolution of where Bucky was going. I knew all along that we would also have a redemption of Bucky storyline. So once I realized how big this story was getting, I realized I needed someone back in the costume with the shield eventually. And Bucky fit so perfectly into that. It all came together.”
Lane said he thinks fans will accept the new character.
“They’ll see it as the evolution of the character,” Lane said. “It seems like a natural step.”
Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada will appear on the “Colbert Report” tonight to discuss the state of Marvel Comics, including the new Captain America.
“It’s an experiment,” Marvel Entertainment editor in chief Joe Quesada told the New York Daily News. “Every day, every story, I’m ready for backlash.”
“Captain America” No. 25 was the best-selling comic book of 2007 in comic-book shops, according to Diamond Comic Distributors.
Captain America was created in 1941 by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon. Steve Rogers was a scrawny teen who volunteered for a secret experiment. The results of the experiment turned him into a super-soldier, ready to fight the Axis powers of World War II. At the war’s conclusion, Captain America went missing — he was frozen in a block of ice, until being revived by the Avengers in 1963′s “Avengers” No. 4.
Lane praised the storyline of “Captain America” No. 34, which he called “relevant to today’s times,” even though Lane doesn’t agree with all the decisions made by Quesada. And, Lane says, he thinks just because there’s a new Captain America, it doesn’t mean fans will never see Steve Rogers again.
“In the back of my mind, I keep saying they’ll find a way to bring him back,” Lane said. “It may be five years down the road, but I think we’ll see Steve Rogers again.”
– Matthew Price
Acting Assistant Features Editor