The Star-Spangled Avenger embarks on a brand new chapter with a new creative team in the Marvel Now. Writer Rick Remender and Artist John Romita Jr. hurl Steve Rogers into Dimension Z in Captain America #1 on November 21.
“At the core of this book is Steve Rogers. Even though tonally you can expect a bit of a shift, the character still shines true. We’re taking a drift into science fiction. Visually it will be pretty crazy. John is plugging away on issue #3 and it looks gorgeous,” Remender said on Marvel.com.
Ed Brubaker’s final Cap issue came this week after an eight year run and a focus on the spy game. Remender is shifting Steve in the new series.
“It’s a large step away from the espionage spy stuff Ed Brubaker has been doing, but it’s the same core character dropped in a new situation,” he explained.
The Red Skull, HYDRA and AIM were big elements of the Brubaker era. Remender is making the bizarre scientist Arnim Zola (played in human form by Toby Jones in Captain America: The First Avenger) into a more formidable enemy.
”Rick asked for a scene with a human Arnim Zola walking into his lab and then it’s 1960′s horror movie gore. I had a moment of thinking I was drawing Kick-Ass and had gotten my books confused,” Romita revealed, “There are human heads on other things and so on. It gave me the willies. That doesn’t happen a lot.” -
“We’re establishing Zola and who he was in his early days in one page. You can do it visually with the right artist. John does it,” Remender said,”"Arnim Zola is established as terrible in one scene.”
“Mainstream books can be the best ones to take a turn into horror or science fiction because it’s unexpected. It meets its rating, but it’s very inspired by EC Comics from the 50′s or Bernie Wrightson on Frankenstein,” added Remender
“It’s an action book. It’s high adventure. Cap throws some fists. The villain is villainous. A hero is only as good as his villain, and wait until you see what John and Dean (White) have done with Zola,” adds Remender.
“Arnim Zola is one of those characters who because he was such a bizarre design and because people who weren’t Jack Kirby drew him, he became almost a comical figure. That’s all going to go away,” said Editor Tom Brevoort.
“Zola doesn’t come out of this with anybody ever thinking he’s a joke again. He’s a high level madman, the top boss and the focus. But as always, there are henchmen. We’ve got Dough Boy, who is Jabba the Hutt as designed by Jack Kirby. When you see what John does with Zola’s mutates and their weapons, it’s wonderful, incredible big and exciting,” said Remender, “Zola is the villain for the long haul. We will get to know his plight.”
Brevoort revealed how the upcoming change to the Sentinel of Liberty was inspired by The Man Without Fear.
”When Rick and I first started talking about doing Cap stuff, for all the high adventure and sci fi, there was an element of what Frank Miller did to Daredevil in Born Again, tearing him down and taking everything away to build him back up. We’re throwing Cap down into a place where he’s completely out of his element, where the idea of America has no relevance. We’re stranding him on a metaphoric desert island and getting to the core of what drives this character. We’ll learn one new thing about him that really drives the first year.”
The new book will take Steve into Dimension Z but also dives into his past.
“Running parallel will be the story of Steve Rogers’ early days. We’ve always said he was Captain America without the physique before the super soldier serum, now we’ll see that. We’ll see the things that made him the guy he is today,” Brevoort continued.
“It was important to show Steve earning the tenacity and heart, because you’re not born with that. What you learn from your parents and the people around you informs your decisions and choices that define who you become,” Remender said.
“Back then, you had to be a lot tougher than the average human being. I think Steve Rogers would have become a cop, gone into the military–somehow been more than the guy on the street even without the super soldier serum. He would never have been just the average joe,” said Romita.
“The scene in ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ where he jumps on the grenade nails it,” added Remender.
A fan asked about Cap’s popular cast of supporting characters.
“I don’t want to give away too much of our hand, but Sharon Carter is involved. Hank Pym will give Steve his gadgets. I do think the important thing here is for the new characters to define this era of Cap. When we get into the second year…nothing you see is as it seems,” Remender answered, ”When I pick up a book, I always try to take the relationships and move them to the next stage. There will be a big Steve-Sharon progression in issue #1.”
One of the fan favorite elements of the Brubaker run was the return and redemption of Bucky Barnes.
“Bucky is a conversation for the third or fourth arc. Once we get a better idea of the landscape of Marvel NOW! and Winter Soldier’s role in it, I’m excited to have these two in each others’ lives,” said Remender.
Remender said not to expect Falcon in the series because Sam Wilson is a “full-fledged in Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers.”
Here’s the Marvel.com link for the entire liveblog.
Captain America #1 arrives November 21st.