The First Avenger: Captain America is one of the four big budget summer blockbusters on Marvel’s official slate of upcoming films. Along with the Iron Man franchise, The Incredible Hulk and Thor, Captain America is getting his own origin film to establish his character in Marvel movie continuity all culminating to the main event: The Avengers.
It’s fantastic timing for Marvel to be doing this with their own fast-growing studio during the era of comic book films, but for Captain America, the timing seemed a little off in terms of lining up with the comics since the character the movie is based on is dead - and has been for over two years.
Well, that’s not going to be the case for long and it’s no coincidence in timing.
Captain America originated back in the 1940s and since that time, he’s been portrayed mainly by the character of Steve Rogers. At least, up until March of 2007 when writer Ed Brubaker had him assassinated in Captain America #25 (Volume 5) at the conclusion of the major Marvel crossover event, Civil War. The Civil War saga saw all the heroes and villains of the Marvel universe pick one of two sides: With the government and their Superhuman Registration Act lead by Tony Stark (Iron Man) or with Captain America’s freedom fighters who fought against it.
Killing off the character was a successful plan by the writers, looking back and seeing how much coverage it was given by mainstream media. Now they’re attempting to do that again by doing the opposite and likely bringing Steve Rogers back from the dead. Of course, he wasn’t going to be dead forever, or even for a long time for that matter - it's surprising his "death" lasted as long as it did (far longer than Superman's death following the Doomsday storyline). When you think about it, they need to capitalize on the timing with the major blockbuster Marvel films that will feature the star-spangled Hero.
According to several reports and plenty of online buzz, Captain America #600 (which officially comes out tomorrow, June 17th), sets up the return of Steve Rogers. Since Rogers’ death, his friend Bucky Barnes has taken up the mantle and sported the new Captain America suit. What will happen with Steve coming back? Will there be two Captain Americas or will Bucky step down… or something else?
Bucky's Cap outfit by Alex Ross [click to enlarge]
On July 1st, the five-issue mini-series Captain America: Reborn begins which will truly see the return of Steve Rogers and according to Bleeding Cool, comic retailers everywhere have apparently been encouraged to stock up on these issues and given incentives to do so in order to tie in to some “major Marvel news.”