Marvel’s ultimate boy scout in the hands of the writer known for chronicling the bad boys and gals of Marvel. Rick Remender (Punisher, Venom, Uncanny X-Force, Secret Avengers) is launching a brand new Captain America #1 this November with legendary John Romita Jr. Remender is following Ed Brubaker’s acclaimed and extensive run. The writer tells Marvel.com his own history with the Sentinel of Liberty.
“SECRET WARS is what brought me into comic books. That was my first contact with Cap. That led me into his ongoing series, around #294-295 when The Red Skull and his daughters were hatching their big plot against Steve. That was great stuff; a lot of interesting stuff to get pulled into. There was plenty of history there and how they were handling the Red Skull and Captain America relationship—I remember being very grabbed by that. A few issues later Captain Britain showed up and that’s when I started falling in love with that character, too.”
What does Cap stand for?
”Tenacity. The character, in my head, was always about [that at] his core. He never gives up, he never quits. He’s a role model. That’s a term that comes a little bit clichéd and trite I suppose, but that’s sort of the beauty of who he is. He’s a patriotic soldier directed by a personal ethical compass, belief in the American dream and faith in his fellow man. At the same time we’ve seen that he’s very clever and roguish, quick with the drill comment on occasion, but he’s also a leader at the core of it. That was something that I definitely wanted to dig into when I took on the new series and we will be quite a bit.”
Expect a change in tone with Remender. While Ed Brubaker focused on SHIELD and spies, Remender will turn up the sci-fi factor.
“It’s almost like “Kirby Sci-Fi Indiana Jones.” High adventure dipped in sci-fi spy fantasy with heavy focus on the man under the suit. Steve’s fabric and his relationships drive our story and the action is the byproduct. Tonally it’s very serious. You want to make sure the characters go up against things that feel like real threats and [put] them into interesting situations. It’s a lot less of the connection with S.H.I.E.L.D. and the spy work and more big high adventure super hero stuff with sci-fi that I tend to lean into. It’s obviously a big challenge following a beloved run like Ed’s. I guess that’s what was also appealing because it was a challenge; it wasn’t safe. You’re working with new people.”
Remender is also writing the flagship Marvel NOW! relaunch book Uncanny Avengers and says expect a crossover.
“There will be a lot of new characters cross pollinating [between the two books]. The first 10 issues of each are going to be their own thing—you want to get that train out of the station and really solidify what the books are about and what’s going on in them. Then we’ll start to see characters from one pop up in the other and a little more cross pollination. I spent some time on the phone with Jason Aaron about how to incorporate some of his new THOR: GOD OF THUNDER ideas in UNCANNY AVENGERS as well, and I want to do the same with Jonathan Hickman and I know Kieron Gillen and I will talk, too. We’ll try and do our very best to make it cohesive and not like it’s a bold new direction where everyone is doing their own thing. We want it to feel like a bold new direction where everyone is doing their own thing and swapping toys out, trying to build something that feels cohesive because that’s such an important part of the shared universe experience.”
Remender tells IFanboy that part of the sci-fi focus will be bringing back Arnim Zola and sending Cap to Dimension Z?
“One of the mandates I have to myself is, I don’t want to touch the World War II stuff. I think that that has been done, now, and it’s been done perfectly. To go back and to keep focusing on Cap in World War II at this point, again, would be following too closely to what Ed has already done. What I’m doing is spending a lot of time in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 20s and 30s, showing Steve grow up. The first arc is 10 issues, and it’s called “Dimension Z.”
I don’t want to give away too much, but a big portion of it is Cap dealing with Arnim Zola in Dimension Z. I’m trying to take Zola and do with him, what we did with Apocalypse over in Uncanny X-Force. Where we take what’s there, re-imagine it, build a new mythology and really expand Zola, and try and build Zola into a very, very big and important character.
The other half of it is going to be a lot of flashbacks to a young Steve Rogers growing up in Depression-era Lower East Side, and getting to know his family and his friends, and how this 98-pound weakling became such a tenacious, strong person; focus on the fiber and the integrity of who he is, and really develop that for the first time.”
Op/Ed: Brubaker’s run is beloved. The Winter Soldier is what got me buying Cap again. The writer taking on Cap probably has the biggest challenge in the Marvel NOW! relaunch. Remender is one of the most ambitious and fearless writers out there (Hello -Dark Angel Saga) so I’m excited to see where he’ll take Steve.
For the entire interview here’s the Marvel.com link.