The Original Captain America Returns
Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz restore the Sentinel of Liberty in Captain America: Steve Rogers!
As the saying goes, you can’t keep a good man down—especially Steve Rogers, the original Captain America.
When the villainous Iron Nail removed the Super-Soldier Serum from his body, Steve Rogers aged into an old man, putting him on the sidelines and passing his shield to the former Falcon, Sam Wilson. But following the events of the upcoming Standoff event, Rogers will once again fight on the frontlines as Captain America, with a new shield, a new mission, and a brand new comic, Captain America: Steve Rogers.
The creative team of Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz shared what they could about Steve Rogers’ return to active duty, as well as what it means for his longtime partner and the current Captain America, Sam Wilson.
Marvel.com: Although Steve Rogers hasn’t really left the stage, we have seen him in a different role in both the current CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON title and in UNCANNY AVENGERS; the role of an older general advising the troops. What changes for Steve to bring him back to the “front lines,” so to speak?
Nick Spencer: Without spoiling too much of Standoff at this early date, something happens that restore Steve to full vigor, which will obviously greatly impact his own mission and his standing within the Marvel Universe. The biggest part of that? He’s Captain America once again.
Marvel.com: What does Steve’s return mean for his former partner? Will Sam Wilson go back to being the Falcon, or will we have two Captain Americas?
Nick Spencer: It means we’ll have two Captain Americas. When Steve handed the shield to Sam, it didn’t come with any caveats. It’s his. Steve respects and admires what his old partner is doing, and wants him to carry on. There are enough problems out there, and enough bad guys, to keep both of them busy. They’ll have very different missions; Sam will continue fighting the battles no one else will go near, while Steve is faced with a resurgent threat from his past: Hydra is back, and stronger than ever.
For me, it’s great, because I get to tell two very different kinds of Captain America stories. If you’re liking what we’re doing in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON, with a more topical, of-the-moment take, we’ve got a lot more of that coming your way; but if you’re looking for that classic, timeless version, the one that’s steeped in the Greatest Generation with Cap fighting the face of true evil, now we’ve got that for you as well. I think they’ll complement each other nicely.
Marvel.com: Why is now the right time for Steve to pick up a shield again?
Nick Spencer: The country is as divided as it’s ever been, and Steve is one of a kind; he’s a unifying figure, someone we can all look up to, [and] someone we can all put our faith in. It’s no secret the Marvel Universe is about to enter a period of serious conflict with Civil War II looming on the horizon, and as such, it feels like the perfect moment to bring Steve back into fighting shape.
Marvel.com: From a character design perspective, Jesus, what should we expect from the new title? Will we be seeing “classic” Cap? And can you both talk about the “new shield” I’ve heard about—what will it look like?
Jesus Saiz: Cap’s redesign has actually been created by the magnificent Daniel Acuña, and it truly is an incredible design. It’s very modern, and at the same time perfectly identifiable as Captain America at first glance. It has all the classic elements you’d expect to find in the character’s suit, but updated in a very clever way.
And the greatest part [is] the shield, indeed! Its shape is similar to the original shield Cap had back in the 1940’s, the pointy one, but this one has two main innovations: its tip can deploy an “energy blade” so Cap can cut into things, and the shield can be divided in two, so Steve can use both halves, one with each arm. Both modifications will help us see a completely different set of moves for Captain America, moves that we [have] never seen Steve use before, in terms of hand-to-hand combat.
I know that changes in the design of a classic character’s suit are always controversial among fans, but I’m convinced they’ll all fall in love with Dan’s work!
Nick Spencer: Tom [Brevoort, Marvel’s Senior Vice President, Executive Editor] and I talked a lot about the new shield; we’re both fans of the classic Golden Age shield, and this new design Daniel did really captures that vibe, while also introducing some cool new features. As we open, Steve will be on the attack, taking the fight to the enemy, and this new shield will help him do that.
Marvel.com: I also hear that Steve has a new mission and team with him. What will Steve be doing, and who will he be working with?
Nick Spencer: While some of these are details we have to hold on to for now, Steve still has Sharon Carter at his side, not to mention a couple of other faces from his past that make very fun additions to the story. And he’ll continue to lead the Unity Squad over in UNCANNY AVENGERS.
Marvel.com: Jesus, I believe this is your first regular assignment for Marvel. How has it been for you, tackling one of their oldest, most iconic characters?
Jesus Saiz: Truth is, in my childhood and teenage years, I was always a Marvel reader. And in the 15 years I’ve been working for the American comic book industry, I never had the chance to work with the Marvel characters, so I had lost touch with Marvel continuity. I wasn’t really up-to-date with what was happening in the Marvel Universe, and that’s an itch I needed to scratch! I would have loved to tackle any of the Marvel icons, honestly, but my hope was that they offered me a character that I knew as a reader.
So you can imagine how happy it made me when Tom offered me Captain America, and not [just] any Cap, but the original Cap! What I didn’t think about or wasn’t conscious [of, is] what Steve’s role is in the current Marvel Universe [is], or that this year is his 75th anniversary, so I’ve gradually realized I haven’t been offered “just another book,” but one much, much more relevant than I expected. And I have to confess that gave me some pause, some vertigo. My two most recurring thoughts these days are, “Why did they offer this to me?” and “Don’t screw up!”
Marvel.com: Nick, you’ve obviously been writing Sam Wilson in the role of Cap, but what’s it been like writing the original?
Nick Spencer: I’ve gotten the opportunity to write Steve a few times already at Marvel, and he’s just one of my favorite characters to tell stories with. The key to him is always reconnecting with that kid in the Lower East Side; the son of immigrants who stood up to bullies and would do anything to serve his country. He’s a symbol that carries an enormous amount of weight, a representation of the best part of us, but it starts with him as a human being, pushing himself to be worthy of all that.
I’m excited about what’s ahead for him; it really is one of the biggest stories, maybe the biggest, of my career. And that’s not just hype! We have some incredible things planned. Between the anniversary and “Captain America: Civil War,” this really is Steve’s year. We want to make the most of it.
Stay tuned to Marvel.com and our social media channels for the latest on Captain America’s 7th anniversary!
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