Captain America Editor Tom Brevoort Talks “Reborn”
In March 2007, the original Captain America, Steve Rogers, was assassinated on the steps of a New York courthouse after a fierce battle over civil liberties of heroes. His one-time sidekick, Bucky, stepped up to take on the mantle of Captain America, and the world moved on. Now, almost two years after his tragic death, Steve Rogers is rising from the dead and returning to the Marvel Universe, first in this week’s “Captain America #600,” and then the miniseries “Reborn,” which will replace “Captain America” for seven issues.
We talked with “Reborn” editor Tom Brevoort about the decision to bring back the original American hero, what this means for Bucky, and what role the upcoming “Captain America” movie played in the resurrection.
ComicsAlliance: When Steve Rogers was first killed, did you know when you were going to bring him back?
Tom Brevoort: There was a loose timeline. We’ve always had this endgame in place for whatever point we decide to pull the trigger and head down this road. It feels like this is the right time to do it; it’s been long enough, but it hasn’t been too long. Initially, [writer] Ed [Brubaker] was talking about bringing him back in issue #30, and we sort of grinned and let him have his illusions. He was very concerned about how long we could sell a “Captain America” book without Captain America, but that very quickly became a non-issue…CA: Were you surprised that the book sold so well without Steve Rogers as Captain America?
TB: Well, the idea of bringing Bucky back flew in the face of the common wisdom; “Bucky is dead” was one of the few bedrock principles of the Marvel Universe. Bringing him back shouldn’t have worked, except that it did. And it became really apparent that people liked what Ed was doing with Bucky.
CA: What is the return of Steve Rogers going to mean for Bucky now?
TB: The questions that present themselves are, even if Steve is alive again, who’s to say that he’s going to be in shape, physically or mentally, to be Captain America again; and even if he is, is there anything that says there can’t be two Captain Americas? Regardless of all this, what this really means for Bucky is that he’s got to face something that he’s been avoiding or running from particularly over the last few months. He’s got to figure out how fits into the world of 2009, because he hasn’t had a chance to stop and catch his breath and think about this stuff while he’s Captain America. He’s let his forward momentum carry him up till this point, and filling Steve’s shoes gave him purpose beyond just being alive. But if Steve’s back then the question becomes, what does he do now? Can he have any kind of normal life? Where does he belong?
CA: How exactly is Captain America going to come back to life?
TB: You’re going to wait till “Reborn #1″ to figure out.
CA: So we’re not going to find out what happens in “Captain America #600″?
TB: No, no.
CA: For fans that haven’t been following along with the Captain America series, how easy would it be to pick up “Captain America #600″ or “Reborn #1″ and know what’s going on?
TB: We took great pains to make sure that someone who hasn’t been following the Cap book every month can pick up “Reborn” will be able to understand it — sort of like “Civil War” itself. It’s positioned to be the start of the story, and that’s one of the reasons it’s “Reborn #1″ and not “Captain America” number whatever.
CA: Did the upcoming “Captain America” movie play a role in the decision to bring back the original character?
TB: It was really independent of the film. The film is still 18 months away, and we had the mechanism by which Steve comes back in place in when he died. Even before that issue [“Captain America #25″], there were hints and clues that are about to start paying off.
CA: Cap’s death took place during a very ideological battle between him and Iron Man. Does his return signal any sort of philosophical shift for the Marvel U?
TB: I don’t think it has anything to do with the philosophy behind “Civil War” in terms of Cap coming back; it has to do with some very specific mechanics. That being said, once Cap is back it’s not like all of [that] will be completely put to rest.
CA: So he’s still going to have some issues with Iron Man?
TB: I would think so.