When the first teasers for “Captain America” #600 hit, highlighting the return of “Heroes Reborn” character Rikki Barnes (AKA “The She-Bucky”), fan speculation started as to how the Rob Liefeld-created character would mesh into Ed Brubaker’s espionage-driven “Captain America” run.
With the stunning events of #600 and the return of Steve Rogers sweeping through Cap’s world over the summer, Marvel Comics hasn’t forgotten about Rikki as a new four-issue mini series titled “Nomad: Girl Without A World” was announced this weekend at the WizardWorld Philadelphia convention. Written by scribe Sean McKeever with art by a team yet to be announced, the series will take the newly renamed teen heroine on a journey to find her role not only within Cap’s world but within the regular Marvel Universe.
“Before I’d even seen Ed’s script for #600 where he uses the phrase ‘Girl Without A World,’ that was one of the things I thought about when [editor] Tom [Brevoort] brought it to me,” McKeever told CBR News. “Forget about being a man without a country – this is so much bigger than that. This is a girl who lives in a place that’s very much like her own, and probably 95% of this world is like her own. But that other 5% is really specific and really disorienting to her. The Captain America that she partnered with on her earth is assassinated here. He’s dead and gone. The place where she grew up doesn’t even exist on this earth. So she really doesn’t have any connections. That’s a big part of it – her trying to find those tethers to keep her from becoming too detached and slipping away.”
A stand-in for Bucky Barnes from the counter-earth created by the 1990’s Heroes Reborn event, Rikki sets out to connect with the current Captain America unbeknownst that the man in the costume is in some ways a version of herself. “At this point, she really wants to meet Captain America, the current one. She knows it’s not Steve Rogers, but just the same, she feels that by meeting him and by talking to him it’ll help her find a role and direction in this world. She really doesn’t know what her role should be here because she doesn’t belong. That’s a big part of what she’s about going into this. And also, she’s going into high school because she found this earth’s version of her older brother. So she sees this as a second chance to make her relationship with her older brother work. And being in the presence of her older brother makes her feel like she belongs in this world.
“What she’s after is a purpose, and that purpose is kind of thrown at her at the end of the first issue,” teased McKeever.
For readers tapping in to Captain America’s world thanks to the upcoming “Reborn” mini series, the writer explained that while his series wouldn’t be necessary to understand that story or vice versa, a strong connection exists between the ideas introduced by the “Cap” head honcho. “This starts with Ed Brubaker using this character in ‘Cap’ #600, and at the end of that ‘Onslaught Reborn’ series she ended up in the main Marvel Universe instead of her alternate earth. You’d have to ask him, but I guess Ed saw an opportunity there to use here as one of the various aspects of the supporting cast of this Captain America who is currently Bucky…I see it as a really great evolution for the character.”
The biggest way in which the series will connect for Cap fans is in the supporting cast, as McKeever noted, “What I decided to go with was keeping things mostly in the Cap corner of the Marvel Universe, and so we’ve got Captain America, obviously, showing up. Black Widow. We’ll very likely have Patriot and some of the Young Avengers showing up. And the main villains of the story are the Secret Empire who were the impetus for Cap originally becoming Nomad. It’s definitely smack-dab in the middle of the Marvel Universe. It’s in Manhattan. But we’re sticking to the Cap corner. And if this mini series does well, and people want to see more Rikki Barnes, then hopefully I can have her meet up with some other heroes and villains in the Marvel Universe.
“What we’re trying to go for is really Young Avengers by way of Captain America. That means maintaining that tone that Brubaker has created so well in his Cap run – to completely ground it in reality with a bit of grit and a strong sense of internal narrative. That’s what I’m going for with ‘Nomad,’ but we’re dealing with a teenage girl instead of of 30-something man.”