Right now, there’s only one Captain America flying through the skies of Marvel’s mainline comic-book universe. But later this year, the original super-soldier will be back in the red, white and blue. And don’t worry about current shield-wielder Sam Wilson; he’ll sticking around. That’s right: two Caps at the same time.
This news coincided with a TV special on ABC in the US yesterday celebrating the 75th anniversary of Captain America. The upcoming series will be titled Captain America: Steve Rogers and an interview on Marvel’s official site with writer Nick Spencer and artist Jesus Saiz states that the two Captain Americas will be operating independently of each other and pursuing different agendas:
It means we’ll have two Captain Americas. When Steve handed the shield to Sam, it didn’t come with any caveats. It’s his. Steve respects and admires what his old partner is doing, and wants him to carry on. There are enough problems out there, and enough bad guys, to keep both of them busy. They will have very different missions; Sam will continue fighting the battles no one else will go near, while Steve is faced with a resurgent threat from his past: Hydra is back, and stronger than ever.
For me, it’s great, because I get to tell two very different kinds of Captain America stories. If you’re liking what we’re doing in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON, with a more topical, of-the-moment take, we’ve got a lot more of that coming your way; but if you’re looking for that classic, timeless version, the one that’s steeped in the Greatest Generation with Cap fighting the face of true evil, now we’ve got that for you as well. I think they will complement each other nicely.
Right now, I like this move for the reasons Spencer cites above. Sam isn’t getting kicked off a prestigious mantle; instead, Marvel editorial is apparently giving Spencer leeway to re-envision how two characters embody the role of Marvel’s foremost patriotic hero. There have been many storylines where two Captain Americas existed simultaneously, but plots where one of them hasn’t been evil or time-shifted are rare.
Steve will be sporting both a new costume and a new shield, while Sam keeps the original circular weapon. More details about the changes are available at Marvel.com.