REMENDER & JRJr. Give CAPTAIN AMERICA his Marvel NOW! Orders

 

Completing the cycle that started with last week’s November Marvel NOW! teasers, Friday morning saw the final two confirmations of new titles and creative teams for the publisher’s relaunch initiative [for details on the Marvel NOW! X-Men Legacy relaunch, click here].

iFanboy, who had last week’s “Soldier” teaser, confirmed what was widely expected, writer Rick Remender and veteran artist John Romita Jr. are helming a Captain America title.

In an interview with the website, writer Remender – who also will head another Marvel NOW! new launch – Uncanny Avengers – called following the long, distinguished run by Ed Brubaker “terrifying”, explaining the tone of he’s going for with the series draws from the Jack Kirby era of Captain America, “…where characters like Arnim Zola were created in the mad bomb stuff. All of these giant huge ideas, and a bit of sci-fi leaning as I am wont to do... To sort of emulate, as much as I could in my own voice, that era of Cap.”

Artistically Remender says Romita Jr.’s work is akin to what he did with Frank Miller on Daredevil: Man Without Fear. “It echoes that. It’s craziness,” said the writer. “Seeing Johnny do that stuff, there’s nobody who could do Kirby and still be himself like Johnny. It turns into this, it’s like Man Without Fear mixed with all of the mad bomb Zola Kirby stuff.”

The character has a unique staying power, Remender told Marvel.com, because of who he is deep down. "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."

Remender told iFanboy that he’s moving away from Brubaker’s World War II/Bucky/Winter Soldier focus and that there will be big changes, calling what Marvel was looking for in the NOW! initiative as “hostile takeovers” and “giant shifts” from what came before.

“Tonally, it’s very different,” said Remender. “…It’s a complete shift from what Ed was doing and I loved what Ed was doing, but if I were to try and emulate that or to continue that tone, it would be Ed light. It wouldn’t be the same thing. So I’m leaning in to what I like to do, which is high adventure, sci-fi, with spy fantasy, with a heavy focus on the man under the suit. It’s very character-focused conflict stuff.”

His first story arc, called "Dimension Z" lasts ten issues, and will spend about half of that time in flashback in the Depression-era Lower East Side of Manhattan, showing Steve [Rogers] growing up, focusing for the first time on how the once 98-pound weakling developed into the character with the moral fiber and integrity of an "apolitical" Captain America.

He called it, "an examination of the core of Steve Rogers, and how this son of immigrants, this kid who grew up on the Lower East Side in the Depression, became this person. It has a lot to do with his parents and his grandfather, and the neighborhood he grew up in, and the conflicts that he was thrown into."

Elaborating with Marvel.com, Remender continued, "I want to get to know his parents and get to know him as a kid that turned him into that. The story here will be half-told now as he’s dealing with a big threat we’re putting him up against and really throwing him into a situation unlike anything he’s really been in before. It’s a real test of the core of who he is and if he can get through this; at the same time we’ll be cross cutting to who he was growing up and how he earned that heart and tenacity and that ability to keep standing up and to weather these extremely terrible things he’s had to endure."

The other part of the story arc is focused on Cap dealing with Arnim Zola - who the writer want to develop into an A-list villain - in Dimension Z.

"He’s this guy with ties to the Nazis and he has this unquenchable thirst for knowledge and the need to be free to experiment on whomever and however he desires. He’s the Bio-Fanatic. He’s not out for power or revenge per se; his drug is knowledge. So when they call him the Bio-Fanatic, they’re not kidding," Remender told Marvel.com. "He’s the archetype of the Nazi concentration camp experimenter taken to the extreme. His various experiments often have no grander purpose other than they can be proven to be done. This is a person who likes to manipulate life, merge things, play God and do so with living creatures quite often. When you look at it at its core, it’s as evil as you can be."

 

"I’m trying to take Zola and do with him, what we did with Apocalypse over in Uncanny X-Force," the writer told iFanboy. "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."

His first arc will also briefly introduce Marvel readers to a new villain Cap will deal more with after the first arc - the Green Skull - who according to solicitation copy for the debut issue wants to "transform all of humanity into plants", and well as an "unmanned rocket train running miles beneath New York."

"He is someone who believes that humanity is the cause of all problems on earth and he wants to turn humanity into soil for plants," said Remender of the Green Skull. "He’s got a chemical agent that can do that." 

Sharon Carter will still be a main cast member, as Remender plans to explore their relationship over "the first 18-20 issues," which also gives an idea of how far in advance he's already planning his run, thanks to his Marvel.com interview. Hank Pym will also be appearing regularly in the book, acting as a Q to Cap's Bond, "developing him some various toys and tools."

And the costume? Yeah, that'll have some tweaks, too, but Remender is confident people will like Romita Jr's style. "I think when you see Johnny’s Cap, you’ll fall in love with it. It’s pretty sleek, clean version of the new design. Be open to a little change."

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