Marvel's Captain America (?) house ad, teasing July...It’s been two years and one month to the day since Steve Rogers, best known to legions of comics fans as Captain America was killed on the steps of a courthouse in Captain America #25.
Since then, Cap’s former sidekick James “Bucky” Barnes has taken over the role of his mentor and worked hard to make the job his own. While never – ever – forgetting Steve Rogers and how he was Captain America for decades, Bucky now sees his taking of the mantle as the ultimate tribute to his teacher and friend.
As Cap, Bucky has held Marvel’s Captain America series for nearly 25 issues, while Steve Rogers has been on the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, in a location known only to Namor and a very few others.
But could that Arctic water be getting choppy?
The idea that Steve Rogers would one day return – well, that’s a given, both due to the character and the company. At the time of his death, the “finality” of Captain America’s death was given a wink and a nod by Marvel themselves. It was an unspoken agreement between Marvel and the fans – Steve Rogers may step offstage for a while, but he’ll be back. Likewise, in regards to Rogers as a character, there are dozens of ways he could return to the living, chief among them being that, more than likely, it’s no coincidence that he was returned to the Arctic waters – the place where he was originally found in the modern day, the temperatures and conditions of which may have had some effect on his keeping his health (yes, he wasn’t dead when he was frozen at the end of World War II, but still).
Let’s look at some bits of information:
- Captain America #600 - shipping in June, the Captain America series will consolidate its different numberings and “hit” issue #600. The solicitation (in part) for the issue reads: “Where were you when Captain America died? It's the anniversary of the day Steve Rogers was killed, a day of reflection and mourning in the Marvel U...a time to look back on the things Steve did and what he stood for... or is this issue actually the beginning of the most wicked plot twist since issue 25? Yeah, actually it's both.”
- Marvel’s in-house ads. This month, Marvel titles ran the above image as an ad – look closely, and you’ll see the chain-mail behind that familiar star. And then, the word, “July.” Given that this is Marvel, and they have been known to dabble in the darker side of things – the ad in and of itself may not mean what fans of Steve Rogers may hope it means. The ad could indicate that July will see a Dark Reign: Captain America miniseries kick off, chronicling Norman Osborn’s attempt to make his “own” Captain America, or heck, it could even mean that a still-dead Zombie Cap is coming back. We’re not going to consider a third alternative, that it’s an active-duty return of Isaiah Bradley, the “Black Captain America. That seems a touch heavy handed and in questionable taste.
- The movie thing. While comic book publishers are no longer beholden to movie versions of their characters for (alleged) cross-pollination of audiences, Marvel does have a Marvel Studios-produced Captain America movie coming up. True, the movies coming from Marvel Studios tend to follow some of the beats of the Ultimate Universe, rather than the regular Marvel Universe, and Steve Rogers is still Captain America over there, but still…would Marvel release a film starring a Steve Rogers Captain America when Rogers is dead in Marvel Comics? It’s a fair question that could go either way.
- 1941. Captain America debuted in Captain America Comics #1 in March, 1941. March 2011 will be his 70th Anniversary. Could any resurrection plans be waiting until Cap turns 70? Currently, the movie is slated for a July 22nd 2011 release, so part of Marvel is already thinking that 70 will be a nice year for Cap…