Nearly two-and-a-half years after Captain America was assassinated in the pages of his monthly comic book, Marvel Comics has announced a plan to bring the iconic hero back to life. And really, is anyone surprised?
The development was hinted at in Monday's 600th issue of "Captain America" and confirmed in a New York Daily News interview with Marvel Comics editor in chief Joe Quesada. The original Captain America, Steve Rogers, will return in an upcoming five-issue series titled "Captain America: Reborn."
Since scripting Rogers' death at the hands of an agent of his archenemy, The Red Skull, in 2007, writer Ed Brubaker has continued to author the "Captain America" series, in which the character's former sidekick, Bucky, donned a new version of the costume and carried on in Rogers' absence. Brubaker will also handle the star-spangled Avenger's return in "Reborn," which kicks off on July 1.
In a medium that has seen nearly every major superhero die and return ready for action a few story lines later, Rogers' death has managed to be notable in that it lasted as long as it has — and that the series actually sold better in the character's absence. That doesn't mean there was ever any question about whether the hero — initially introduced in 1941 — would return to fight the good fight in comics again.
"It was always the plan, but we just couldn't say, 'Hey, we're killing him and we plan to bring him back,' " Brubaker told MTV News. "Originally, he was only going to be dead for six months, but the story kept growing and growing and becoming more popular. We didn't originally have a plan for anyone else to become the new Captain America, but that just grew out of the story we were telling.
"It's all been part of our fiendish plan," he laughed.
Given Marvel's plans to introduce him to a much larger audience in the 2011 movie "The First Avenger: Captain America," the character's return certainly seems to make sense, but Brubaker argued that Captain America's upcoming big-screen bow had little to do with the decision to draft him back into service.
"Even when we did the 'Director's Cut' version of issue 25 [in which Rogers was assassinated], there was stuff in the script that they reprinted at the end of the comic that we had to black out, because it contained clues about how we were eventually going to do the return story," Brubaker said.
Still, Brubaker said the timing of Cap's return isn't entirely accidental.
"We've come a long way as a country since issue 25. The vast majority of America has swung back from incredibly pessimistic to a little freaked out, but optimistic," he said. "It's no coincidence that it's coming out right before the Fourth of July."
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