It was only a matter of time, naturally, until the gunned-down Steve Rogers again picked up the Captain America shield. And when Marvel Studios announced that the original Cap would star in his own feature film (in the person of Chris Evans), Comic Riffs swore we could nearly hear the sound of creative gears shifting in Marvel’s New York offices.
Marvel Entertainment announced this week that indeed, Steve Rogers will return in July for “Captain America No.1” (just in time for the movie’s July release.
With that news, Comic Riffs caught up with Marvel honcho TOM BREVOORT — who has been there through the thick and quite-thin of the past coupla decades at Marvel (hello, Icahn and Perelman) — to learn more about the reasoning behind the resurgence. Here’s what Brevoort had to say about the writer (Ed Brubaker), the new artist (Steve McNiven) and his high expectations for the new “First Avenger” film:
MICHAEL CAVNA: So how long had the decision been percolating to bring back the original Cap? And did the timing of the feature film play a factor in your decision — sure makes for great synergy — or do you view these events as entirely unrelated?
TOM BREVOORT: I can’t say that they’re absolutely unrelated, but they’re nowhere near as connected as you might think. At no point in our process were Ed or I ever strong-armed into putting Steve back into the suit at this point. If anything, we were encouraged to continue on with Bucky as Cap for as long as wanted, since so many people were digging that incarnation of the character.
That said, having brought Steve back to life and put him back onto the canvas, there always seemed to be a statute of limitations on how long we could keep him from picking up that shield again, and with the film poised to open, it struck the both of us that with so many eyeballs on the character, it made sense to make our move now.
MC: Can you speak to the decision to bring Steve McNiven aboard for the series — was it a slam-dunk decision, and were any other names brought into the discussion?
TB: As you’d imagine, we consider Steve something of a WMD in our artistic arsenal, so when he was getting close to wrapping up his time on Mark Millar’s ”Nemesis,” we strategically looked for the best place to position him thereafter. And because of the film, and because of the deft way he handled the character during “Civil War,” putting Steve on Cap Number One was something of a no-brainer.
MC: Did you consult with Brubaker on McNiven’s hire — and is the professional chemistry already there?
TB:When it became a possibility, I asked Ed about it, and he was enthusiastic. And so far, it’s been a very harmonious pairing. Steve’s mentioned a few times just how much he’s been enjoying working on Ed’s script. I think they both have a similar approach when it comes to pacing, so the gears of the storytelling mesh very naturally.
MC: As for “First Avenger,” did you get to spend much time on set during the shoot, and have you seen much footage?
TB: I’ve seen absolutely nothing outside of the same trailer and preview footage that’s been released to the world. But everything I’ve seen looks pretty good to me, especially the absolutely incredible transformation of Chris Evans from 98-pound weakling into having a superhuman physique.
MC: Lastly, the first question I heard from numerous readers about bringing back the original Cap was: “What will happen to Bucky?!?” So: What will happen to Bucky?
TB: Sorry, you’ll have to check out forthcoming events in both “Captain America” and “Fear Itself,” our big summer event series, to find out. We’ve revealed enough already.