The original Captain America, Steve Rogers, was assassinated two years ago, in the pages of “Captain America” #25 by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting. Only one year of story time has passed, but the Marvel Universe has become a much darker place since then. Norman Osborn, a psychotic mad man, has become one of the most powerful figures in America, and his authority is backed up by the might of both the US government and a secret criminal Cabal. Rogers’s successor as Captain America, Bucky Barnes, has tried his best to hold back the tide of darkness, but he’s been forced underground by the might of Osborn’s Dark Reign.
Thankfully, it looks like Steve Rogers is set to make like another legendary hero, King Arthur, and return when his country needs him the most, in “Captain America: Reborn” by Ed Brubaker and Bryan Hitch & Butch Guice. CBR News spoke with editor Tom Brevoort about the five-issue miniseries.
“Reborn” hits stores July 1, followed two weeks later by “Captain America” #601, but cash strapped Cap fans don’t need to worry about buying an extra book for the next few months. “‘Captain America’ will be going on hiatus after #601, while ‘Reborn’ runs,” Brevoort confirmed for CBR News. “So there won’t be any opportunity for crossovers between the titles.”
In stores now, “Captain America” #600 sets the stage for “Reborn,” which will be about the search for Steve Rogers and the efforts to bring him back from beyond the grave. “The action in ‘Reborn’ is primarily carried by Bucky and Steve’s closest friends–the Black Widow, the Falcon, Sharon Carter, etc–as they strive to locate and revive Steve,” Brevoort explained. “Steve himself is a character as well, and where he’s been and what he’s been experiencing will be important to what comes next for him. We’ll also be seeing characters from throughout the Marvel Universe, including Norman Osborn and the Dark Avengers, some members of the Mighty Avengers, and Doctor Doom.”
“Reborn” is a combination of elements which have been planned for a while, that developed organically from Brubaker’s “Death of Captain America” storyline. “We knew we were going to get here at some point,” Brevoort stated. “But the specific timing developed as we went, and as Cap’s story took on a bit of a life of its own.”
Once Brubaker and Marvel had solidified all the details of “Reborn,” they set about recruiting an artist to bring the series to life. Brevoort felt Bryan Hitch, who designed the look of the popular Ultimate incarnation of Captain America in Marvel’s “Ultimates” series, was the perfect man for the job. “He’s a big artist, the guy who pretty well invented the widescreen approach to comics,” Brevoort said. “And he’ll convey the scope of ‘Reborn’ and capture the flavor of all the various locales and time periods we’ll be visiting during the series.”
Hitch’s style for “Reborn” will of course be recognizable, but the artist plans on doing new things with the series, both in terms of the look of the book and several of its characters. “It’s Bryan, so you can definitely expect to see his particular take on a number of the characters’ uniforms along the way,” Brevoort said. “But while there are some elements that hearken back to ‘Ultimates’ — particularly the opening of ‘Reborn’ #1 — Bryan’s doing something different here, aided and abetted by Butch Guice.”
Since Rogers died, his former sidekick Bucky Barnes has stepped in as the new Captain America, but the character was well developed ahead of time, thanks to the prodigious work of Ed Brubaker and other Marvel creators. By most accounts, Brubaker and co. did a tremendous job making Bucky a compelling successor to the role of Captain America, earning the character a substantial fan base, many of whom are wondering what the return of Steve Rogers means for the new Cap.
“There’s nothing that says that Steve will be ready to return as Captain America, either physically or emotionally, after the events of ‘Reborn,'” Brevoort hinted, “And even if he is, there’s nothing that says there can’t be two people wearing the uniform. Either way, we’ve spent four years developing Bucky as a viable character, so we’re not about to kick him to the curb at this point.”
“Captain America” #600 is on sale now. “Captain America: Reborn” #1 goes on sale July 1.