Josh Trujillo Reflects on All Things Aaron Fischer and ‘Love Unlimited’
Writer Josh Trujillo discusses his most recent arc on the Marvel Unlimited series, ‘Love Unlimited,’ starring Aaron Fischer, the Captain America of the Railways.
In LOVE UNLIMITED: AARON FISCHER CAPTAIN AMERICA by Josh Trujillo, Cara McGee, and Felipe Sobreiro, readers caught up with the Captain America of the Railways. This story saw Aaron Fischer return to the hometown that once rejected him for his sexuality when his mentor, Glen, is found dead under mysterious circumstances.
With the final chapter of the story out today on the Marvel Unlimited app, writer Josh Trujillo sat down with Marvel.com to discuss all things Aaron Fischer and his latest arc on LOVE UNLIMITED.
Marvel.com: For the new readers out there, tell us a bit about Aaron Fischer and what you find so appealing about his character.
Josh Trujillo: Aaron Fischer is a gay runaway from Missouri who took on the mantle of Captain America to protect his community. He’s a young adult with a rough background, who is working to overcome that and make a better life for the people around him.
What I like about Aaron is that he’s a self-made hero in the truest sense. In his first appearances, he doesn’t have any powers; he just has his heart and his fists. I love Aaron’s spirit, his fearlessness, and his willingness to tackle problems so much larger than himself. Even though he doesn’t have all the answers, he’s willing to risk it all for the greater good.
Marvel.com: Aaron is part of this network of Captain Americas. How would you say Aaron defines his role as Captain America? How do you think this differs from other Captain Americas, such as Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers?
Josh Trujillo: I think Aaron sees the symbolism of being a Captain America and understands the responsibility in that. At the same time, he’s not tied to the same, uh, patriotism that maybe Steve or Sam can be at times.
But like them, Aaron is guided by his own morality and his desire to do good. He’s hotheaded, he is impetuous, he has some regrettable tattoos, and he makes a lot of mistakes. Aaron is still a kid in some ways, but he’s figuring it out.
Marvel.com: You’ve written this 6-part mystery revolving around Aaron Fischer and his history, taking him back to the hometown that deemed him an outcast. Why did you decide to frame the story in this way?
Josh Trujillo: In working with Christopher Cantwell and Jan Bazaldua to create Aaron, we saw so much potential for his origin beyond what we were able to tell in his first story. Some of us have to leave our homes behind to find a better, safer life, so what does it mean to have to be confronted with that past head-on? I think that’s something a lot of people, especially queer people, can relate to. We aren’t always the same person we were when we left.
Marvel.com: As a young gay man, Aaron has dealt with homophobia throughout his life, which you address in this story. As a writer, how did you approach such a heavy and important subject?
Josh Trujillo: It’s tricky, right? These issues matter to my community, and to any community facing adversity or outright bigotry. I want to create a space where the reader can relate their own struggles to Aaron’s, without digging up too much pain or bad memories. I hope people see how Aaron is working to overcome his own past and can imagine a way forward for themselves.
Marvel.com: In Chapter 5, Aaron gained some abilities at the Alchemax powerplant, becoming what would later be described as a “living shield.” How did you arrive at the decision to give Aaron powers?
Aaron stood out to me from Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson because he doesn’t have a super suit, and he doesn’t have any powers. You don’t need super-powers to be a hero, and I think Aaron and all the Captain American Network have proven that already. However, in plotting a path forward for the character I thought it was important to give him a bit of an upgrade. I wanted him to hold his own against the kinds of threats that Steve, Sam, and the Avengers face.
I want Aaron to be a player in the greater Marvel Universe, so my editors and I thought a lot about what that power would be. It’s really fun to do this, by the way. For me, it made sense to give him a bit of defensive power: You can knock him down, but he’ll hit back even harder! That resonated with me as a queer person. We deal with so much hardship and uncertainty, but we always have the power to rise above it. Aaron was always a protector; this just gives him a better ability to do that.
Marvel.com: This is actually your second arc on the LOVE UNLIMITED Infinity Comic. What did you learn from writing LOVE UNLIMITED: WICCAN AND HULKLING and how did it impact the way you approached writing this story?
Josh Trujillo: There are some funny “inside baseball” things about writing an Infinity comic vs. writing for print, like we can’t do splash pages and are limited by panel count vs. page count. You have to learn how to be more efficient in your storytelling, and I think that’s something I’m learning more and more as I tell stories on this platform.
On a story level, I think the Infinity Comics offer a way to tell more personal stories that maybe wouldn’t make it to print otherwise. All too often, print comics deal with world-shattering crises and Multiverse disruptions, but here we can tell a story with maybe smaller stakes that still resonate with readers in a big way.
Marvel.com: As a queer writer, what would you say is the importance of telling queer stories in genres like Super Hero comics?
Josh Trujillo: Even going back to the first Captain America stories, you see that he’s inspirational, that he’s a defender of the defenseless. Comics have the power to impact real change in this world, by touching peoples’ hearts and inspiring them to work towards something greater than themselves. But not everyone has had the luxury of seeing themselves in these stories.
In the past, queer people haven’t been able to see themselves in mainstream comics; we were forced to deal with “queer coded” characters like Mystique and Destiny from the Claremont X-MEN or whatever. Times have changed for the better, and we can tell more sophisticated, more nuanced stories that speak directly to our community. It’s huge that Marvel is giving queer creators a platform, to say that we can be heroes too.
Marvel.com: Where would you like to see Aaron next? What kind of stories would you like to see him in?
Josh Trujillo: I’d like to see him everywhere! Seriously, I think he’s a cool dude that should pop up all over the Marvel Universe (Multiverse??). Aaron’s heart and his sense of justice should always be at the forefront of Aaron Fischer comics, but that doesn’t mean they always have to be so heavy.
I want to see him in funny, sweet stories where he’s exploring his new powers. I want to see him in big Super Hero action. I want to see him kiss a lot of boys! And I want the world to see him for the true hero that he is.
You can read all parts of this Aaron Fischer story, LOVE UNLIMITED #49-#54, and more now on the Marvel Unlimited app.
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