No World War II Flashbacks, More “Giant Huge Ideas”: The Marvel Now! Captain America
How do you follow up what might be the most critically-acclaimed Captain America run ever? If you’re Rick Remender and John Romita Jr., you go entirely in a different direction and offer up a science-fiction series full of big ideas and even bigger action, apparently.Talking to iFanboy about the new Captain America series, Remender said that it was “obviously an honor” and “terrifying” to take on the creative reins of Cap after Ed Brubaker’s near-decade run with the character. Describing the task as “a hell of a challenge,” he explained the approach he was planning to take:
In the tone of the thing, I decided to try and draw from the [Jack] Kirby era of Cap where characters like Arnim Zola were created in the mad bomb stuff. All of these giant huge ideas, and a bit of sci-fi leaning as I am wont to do, that seemed perfect to me. To sort of emulate, as much as I could in my own voice, that era of Cap. So that’s sort of where we’re going. Seeing Johnny [Romita Jr.] do that stuff, there’s nobody who could do Kirby and still be himself like Johnny. It turns into this, it’s like Man Without Fear mixed with all of the mad bomb Zola Kirby stuff.
As well as shifting away from the more-grounded feeling that the character has enjoyed in recent years, Remender will be breaking with another Brubaker (and Cap!) tradition that may surprise a lot of people:
One of the mandates I have to myself is, I don’t want to touch the World War II stuff. I think that that has been done, now, and it’s been done perfectly. To go back and to keep focusing on Cap in World War II at this point, again, would be following too closely to what Ed has already done. What I’m doing is spending a lot of time in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 20s and 30s, showing Steve grow up [including] a lot of flashbacks to a young Steve Rogers growing up in Depression-era Lower East Side, and getting to know his family and his friends, and how this 98-pound weakling became such a tenacious, strong person; focus on the fiber and the integrity of who he is, and really develop that for the first time.
If promises of big ideas and small beginnings aren’t enough to whet your appetite for the relaunch, the writer also teased the debut of “the Green Skull,” (Apparently “someone who believes that humanity is the cause of all problems on earth [who] wants to turn humanity into soil for plants,” according to Remender) and the appearance of somewhere – or something – called Dimension Z. “I like to read things in serialized pulp stories,” Remender explained when talking about his influences, and that’s definitely shining through with what he’s got planned for the series, which sounds like something that we haven’t seen for Captain America since the 1970s heyday of the second Jack Kirby run.
Captain America #1 launches in November.