We’re about to get an All-New Captain America, as long time Captain America sidekick Sam Wilson aka Falcon takes over the mantle starting in Captain America #25, and continuing into a brand new series.
Sam isn’t however the first person to have stepped into the role in Steve Rogers absence, with Isaiah Bradley, John Walker and Bucky Barnes being the most notable amongst the stand-ins. Nevertheless, Steve Rogers will always return, being the one true Captain America. That being said, this latest edition of Fanboy Recommended will look into Captain America: Reborn, the most recent return of Steve Rogers, and how despite him not retaking the mantle of Captain America at the time, that his return was still needed.
Civil War and The Death of Captain America
To really understand the events of Captain America: Reborn, it’s best to have read The Death of Captain America, and furthermore Civil War. Following a freak accident that cost hundreds of innocent civilians their lives, S.H.IE.L.D. and the United States government decided to introduce the superhero registration act, meaning that anyone wearing a mask had to surrender their identity to the S.H.I.E.L.D. and the US government. This didn’t sit well with Steve, and ultimately he and Iron Man went to war.
Eventually realising the harm that he was doing to the nation, Steve decided to turn himself in. But as he went to trial he’d be shot dead by brainwashed lover Sharon Carter. We however learn that Steve in fact isn’t dead, and the Red Skull used this as a way of putting his consciousness into the body of Steve Rogers. In the meantime however America needed a new Captain, with former sidekick and current Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes slipping into the role.
Man Stuck In Time
Enough of the history lesson, lets move onto events from Captain America: Reborn. As I mentioned, good old Cap was never in fact dead. Rather as part of the Red Skull’s mad scheme he was trapped in time, reliving the events from his life. It’s this that interested me most about the story, with Ed Brubaker‘s writing being very deep and emotional. The irony of the matter also captured my attention, with the Man Out of Time being firmly stuck in time. In addition to all this, it is also Steve’s determination to alter devastating events that make this such a powerful development, with the ever heroic character staying true to his morals even in dire times.
As most know, Red Skull’s plans didn’t go the way he planned, and much like his upcoming schemes for Axis will end in failure, these ones did as well. Nevertheless, Red Skull did put up a good contest, even getting his wicked mind into the body of Cap at one point. This resulted in a brilliant fight sequence with him and then Captain America, Bucky, with Bryan Hitch‘s beautiful artwork making the scene all the more intense.
Who Will Wield the Shield?
Another great thing that came out of Captain America: Reborn was the Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield? one-shot. This one off issue looked into what would happen now that Steve’s back, and whether he’d retake the mantle that Bucky has kept warm for him.
Having saw glimpses of a possible future, Steve decides to allow Bucky to stay in the suit, fearing that his long time friend would die otherwise. This I felt was an excellent decision. But at the same time Steve was back, and given current events at the time he was well and truly needed. Having taken control of the newly reformed S.H.I.E.L.D. in the aftermath of Siege, and donning his Super Soldier suit, Steve started a fresh new chapter in his career, allowing for such concepts as Secret Avengers and the Super Soldier itself to be born.
Time for a New Captain America
Returning to the reason that I chose this subject, the upcoming changing of the guard. Having stated why the Marvel Universe needed Steve Rogers back, why would I then go on to state that it now needs a different Captain America? Simple, because of freshness. Steve will still be in the comics, playing a huge role, but having not excelled much in his iconic role it is only fitting to pass it on to someone else. And at the same time allow himself to become more interesting.
Another reason. Falcon needs publicity. Having been Caps sidekick for the better part of fifty years, and having recently gotten notoriety via the Captain America: Winter Soldier film, Sam deserves to don the red white and blue. He also deserves to be recognised as an A lister, and not the B lister that most people class him as. And hopefully All-New Captain America will make this a reality.
In a Nutshell
We are getting a new Captain America. That is undebatable, and something I wholeheartedly support. But at the same time the Marvel Universe is always worse off without Steve Rogers, with the iconic character always being the backbone of the company. But why should you choose now to read Captain America: Reborn, when a brand new Cap is about to be unveiled. Simply because it’s amazing. On a more wider scope, because it will allow you to see how both Steve Rogers and Captain America can exist without being the same, and that a new direction is always something worth trying.