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Tuesday, April 05, 2011 

Steve Rogers regains his role as Captain America

Marvel is going to reinstate Steve Rogers in his rightful role as the Sentinel of Liberty. However, it appears they're not doing it because it's right, but because of the soon to be released movie, and once again, they're even blatantly relaunching in yet another new volume:
The original Cap is coming back.

Marvel Comics said Monday that Steve Rogers, the young man who tried but failed to join the Army during World War II only to take a super-soldier serum that turned him into the agile, strong and daring Captain America, will return to the role in "Captain America" No. 1 in July.

Nearly four years ago, Rogers abandoned the costume, and the job, after he was gunned down on the steps of a courthouse and thought dead. Since then, his former sidekick, Bucky, has been sporting the shield and a sidearm, too.

But with a new film this summer from Marvel Studios - "Captain America: The First Avenger" - it's unthinkable to have someone else wearing the costume and throwing the shield other than Rogers.
That's why they're reinstating Steve with his famous costume and shield? On the one hand, they didn't really replace Steve with Bucky because it was plausible, nor was Bucky brought back from the limbo of death for such reasons either. On the other hand, it appears this is more of a business-driven decision than one done to actually fix a weak publicity driven stunt. Another problem is that the same writer who villified the Tea Party movements is continuing to helm Cap's books:
Marvel is keeping mum about the new series' story but said it is being written by Ed Brubaker, who has been guiding the character for years, drawing critical acclaim for the gritty realism of the character. Rogers himself returned to the Marvel Universe in 2009 and, not surprisingly, wasn't dead, but lost in time. Still, Rogers operated on the sidelines while Bucky continued to serve as Captain America.

"I've really missed Steve in the role, since he hasn't been Cap for about 50 issues now," Brubaker told The Associated Press. "So I have big plans to really explore his character and history and bring in new villains."

Part of that will include meeting the challenge of keeping the character fresh and poignant for longtime fans and readers, and also making him accessible to new readers who may pick up the comic book for the first time after seeing the film.
What if those readers happen to be ones turned off when they first learned the news that Brubaker insulted the Tea Party organizations unfairly? I don't expect him to explore challenging subjects like taking on Islamic terror organizations, if at all, nor do I expect even a convincing story from Brubaker where Cap takes on Hydra and AIM as a metaphor for such subjects either. And just who will those new villains he speaks of be? We can only hope they won't be modeled after decent conservatives, but recalling Marvel's track record, the chances they will pull such a stunt is sadly possible. So too in fact is the chance that Cap will be caught up in Fear Itself.

And if the writer for the new volume relaunch is the same one who scripted the series before, then that's not exactly how to keep the stories fresh if they don't bring in a new writer, and can only maintain the same one as before. Not that I would expect better of them regardless under Quesada and Alonso, given their track record.

That aside, it remains to be seen what will happen to Bucky now that Steve is getting his costume and shield back. Will he become Winter Soldier again, or, will Brubaker decide to send him back to the grave? Or, will he reveal Bucky to be some kind of a clone? I don't know, but whatever they decide, I can't see what their point was of bringing back Bucky from limbo.

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Yes, I know it's cynical, yet I'm glad Steve is back. Just as the Iron Man movies made Marvel stop to their out-of-character treatment of Tony. However, if it's the same Tea Party-bashing writer, don't expect anything new intellectually. And, Bucky, he'll either stay dead or quietly retire.

I always thought they revived him, if only to violate comic death rule number 1: Bucky and Uncle Ben stay dead. Whoops. I wouldn't have mind it, if there was more thought into that. Then again, most Marvel revivals don't typically have that (Norman Osborn, anyone?)

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