BRUBAKER & MCNIVEN: Steve Rogers was Always CAPTAIN AMERICA

BRUBAKER/MCNIVEN Tease CAPTAIN AMERICA

With the announcement this week that Captain America would be re-launching with a new #1 in July, it was hard to pick out which part was the big news. Was it Steve Rogers returning to the role of Captain America? The new #1 after the series returned to its original numbering less than two years ago? The later announcement of that original numbering sticking around as Captain America and Bucky? All of these were pretty big deals, and they were not to be outdone by the announcement of the creative team: Ed Brubaker would continue writing Cap's adventures, teamed with another Steve, superstar artist Steve McNiven.

While things are early and both creators are quite busy, we had a brief chat with Brubaker and McNiven about what this new series means, and why Steve Rogers is Captain America.

"He's the original," said Brubaker. "The only reason Bucky even put on that uniform was to try to honor Steve's memory, and learn something by trying to live up to it. Steve Rogers carries a huge weight on his shoulders when he puts on that uniform."

McNiven loves the original Steve Rogers design, and is having fun with the look, which he explained is a big part of the draw to working on Captain America.

"It's the visual for sure. I love Cap's look, the scale mail, the flag colors, just a great design," said McNiven. "But working out how Cap moves, what aspects of his character can be portrayed, that kind of stuff is what's so much fun to work on with this book."

With an iconic character like Cap, McNiven also likes that the design allows him to focus more on the storytelling than on any kind of redesign of the costume. He told us he just wants "to get Ed's story across as well as I can so that the reader has fun with it, that's where I'll try and make a mark."

While the timing of the relaunch and Rogers' return to the uniform fits with the movie, Brubaker assured us that is more planned serendipity than Hollywood dictating comics.

"It's not dictating to us, but we are taking advantage of all the publicity the movie is getting. We'd be crazy not to. The thing is, when we brought Steve back like 18 months back, I decided to explore what he would do if he didn't just become Cap again right away. The Marvel landscape had changed in his absence, and there were stories to tell. But it was always planned that he'd be Cap again. I've been plotting it out for a long time to go down just like it is right now, with Bucky in the Gulag and Steve having to make a big decision. But anyone who thinks Steve wasn't always going to be Cap again hasn't been reading comics long. This is the third or fourth time he's been not been Cap for a while in the series."

So what of that story? Who might we see show up? McNiven didn't have a list of characters he wanted to draw, but did reveal one of his favorites, while revealing that character's presence in the book.

"Ed's story is so damn good that I wouldn't want to mess with it with a crazy 'want list' of stuff to draw. All I need is a great story and I'm good to go. If they are written well, any character becomes exciting to draw.

Though I am surprised at how much I love drawing Nick Fury!"

With an artist like McNiven on the project, Brubaker is certainly excited, and tells us he wants to make him draw pretty much everything he can, with a spotlight on "highly detailed action scenes," the writer told Newsarama.

"Seriously, Steve can draw anything, so it's like having an unlimited budget in a film. Want to see Paris in WW2? Just get McNiven to draw it. Want to see a high-speed car chase that feels visceral and exciting? He can do that too. He's at the top of his game, I think. Every page that comes in, I can see an evolution of his style, and the way he thinks about the page."

McNiven is likewise excited to be working with a writer who knows Captain America so well.

"I just have to draw a great story! And I'm so lucky to be paired with a writer that can deliver one," said McNiven of his collaborator.

While he wouldn't give away exactly what he likes drawing Cap doing, when given the examples of throwing the shield, deflecting bullets, punching a Nazi in the face, and towering over a villain heroically, he did drop the tiniest of hints.

"All of those descriptions of yours can either be great moments or sour ones depending on the story. That being said, who wouldn't like drawing all of those things? Come to think of it issue one has some of those in there. I'm not going to say which ones though. You'll just have to wait and see!"

Captain America #1 launches in July 2011

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