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10 Essential Eras of Captain America Comic Books

Captain America 10 Essential Comic Book Runs

You might have heard that there's a new Captain America movie coming out on April 4. If Marvel's marketing department has gotten its way, this news may very well be tattooed on the inside of your eyelids in phosphorescent ink. Let's say, however, you've never read any Captain America comics before, but now that he's been legitimized as a multi-million dollar film franchise, you're suddenly very interested in that dude with little wings on his head carrying around one of Uncle Sam's rims.

Since being created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon all the way back in 1941, the hero also known as the Sentinel of Liberty has passed through the hands of some eminently talented writers, artists and editors. Some of these creative teams depicted Cap's adventures for a few months -- some of them for a few years -- before passing the torch to the next creators to keep the flame (or trademark) alive. In comic books, these tenures are called "runs," "series"  or "eras," and they're the readers' way of distinguishing one era of a character's saga from the next. Chances are you're not sure where to dive into a a publishing legacy that's spanned more than 70 years, so here is a list, in chronological order, of the Sentinel of Liberty's 10 most interesting and influential comic book runs.

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Brubaker and Epting’s ‘Velvet’: The Super-Spy Done Right [Review]

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When Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting relaunched Captain America in 2004, they came to the book eager to return the elements of espionage that had been largely absent from the title for years. While most of what we remember are the big events – Bucky’s return, Steve Rogers’ assassination – it was really the spy aspect that drove the story, the behind-the-scenes machinations that made the book so incredibly tense. Now, with Velvet #1 from Image Comics, the team reunite (with Bettie Breitweiser on colors) for another trip into the shadows, a taut thriller about spies, double-crosses, and a middle-aged secretary who’s much more dangerous than she seems to be.

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Ed Brubaker Talks Research, Collaboration, And The Cold War In ‘Velvet’ #1

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In stores next month is Velvet #1, the newest spy tale from Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting, the team that spent years on arguably the most celebrated Captain America run in the character's history. Much of that run was driven by spy/espionage sensibilities, and the duo is bringing that aspect of their work to Velvet, the story of a veteran agent named Velvet Templeton who returns to the field to clear her name after she's framed for the murder of the world's top secret agent.

The series is a significant moment in the careers of both creators. For Brubaker, this was the first book announced after he left Marvel to focus on his own projects, and for Epting, Velvet is the veteran artist's first creator owned work.

With the first issue due out next month, and final orders due on Monday, ComicsAlliance joined a conference call with Brubaker in which he discussed, among other things, the research he did for the series, how cell phones have ruined suspense stories, the British spy who tried to seduce one of FDR's best friends, and how all of that influenced Velvet. You can check out some of the highlights from the call, plus preview art from the first issue as well as the cover to issue #2, below.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Art, Image, Interviews

Get Ready For Brubaker and Epting’s New Espionage Thriller, ‘Velvet’ [Preview]

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The team that reinvented Sharon Carter's super-spy character in the pages of Captain America is getting back together to tell tales starring a female spy of their own creation.

Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting's new Image Comics series Velvet, originally revealed at this summer's Image Expo, is set to arrive in comic-shops and digitally on October 23, and it'll feature some really sharp-looking art influenced by the covers of spy novels from the 1960s and 1970s.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Image, Previews

The Complete Jack Kirby Character Sketchbook (Summer 2013)

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For the past few years, I've been taking a sketchbook to conventions across the country and getting pieces of art with a single theme: Characters created or co-created by the King of Comics, Jack Kirby. After 52 sketches, you'd think I'd be running out of characters, but with only a couple repeats, it's still going strong. Today, in honor of Kirby's 96th birthday, I'm putting all the sketches in one place to show some of the best artists working in comics celebrating Kirby's lasting legacy as a creator!

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Image 2013: New Comics From Brubaker, Epting, Remender, Straczynski, Sienkiewicz, Aaron and More

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Tuesday marked the second annual Image Expo, the banner event where Image Comics announces its slate of upcoming projects for the year to come. Last year's expo featured announcements of a slew of new comics; this year's had a similar abundance of news, so much of it from established Marvel creators that comics creator Phil Hester took it upon himself to (probably jokingly) announce via Twitter that Marvel's creator-owned imprint Icon "is done."

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The Hellboy Memorial Awards: ComicsAlliance’s Best Comics of 2012, Part 4

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We didn't realize when we set out to list our favorite comic books of 2012 that it had been such a fun year to be a fan of the medium that we all love so much. The last twelve months offered readers a wide variety of work ranging from the most crowd-pleasing superhero epics to the most idiosyncratic of indies; the return of much missed mangaka and the emergence of exciting new talent; a new crowd-sponsored visibility for self-publishing; and the ascension of the fan artist from bedroom dreamer to Tumblr tycoon. It was a busy a

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The Ed Brubaker ‘Captain America’ Exit Interview

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With the release of Captain America #19, drawn and colored by his former partners-in-crime Steve Epting and Frank D'Armata, Ed Brubaker wrapped up an eight year run on Captain America, having shepherded the character and series through a small fistful of different incarnations and titles. His run saw the return

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The Jack Kirby Convention Sketchbook: 2012 Update

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Last year, I posted about a convention sketchbook I'd started themed around characters created or co-created by the legendary Jack Kirby, with ten great sketches from the artists I'd met at Heroes

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All Killer, No Filler in Gigantic 96-Page ‘Fantastic Four’ #600 [Review]

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This week saw the release of Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting's Fantastic Four #600, celebrating not only six hundred issues of the seminal title but also more than fifty years since the book's debut. Hickman's run on Fantastic Four has been a definite highlight of the past few years of superhero comics, embracing the cosmic sco

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