Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, was shot and killed in March 2007. To paraphrase a classic Onion Headline: “Captain America Dead: Is Captain America Alive?” As EW’s Jeff Jensen recently reminded us, nobody ever really stays six feet under in comic books, besides maybe Gwen Stacy, and there have been so many alternate-universe Gwen Stacys and clone Gwen Stacys and it-was-only-a-dream Gwen Stacys that it feels like she never died. Thus, the only real question after Cap’s untimely death was: How crazy will things get before the original Cap returns?
Answer: Pretty crazy.
For a little while, beloved homicidal anti-hero the Punisher started dressing like Captain America, which is probably really deep if you think about it for a minute. Then, Cap’s old partner Bucky became the official new Captain America, complete with a sparkly new costume the gritty addition of a pistol. In 2009, we learned that Rogers hadn’t actually been killed, but was instead trapped in some sort of vaguely-inexplicable time-travel trap. (Fellow murdered superhero Batman had a remarkably similar problem, actually.) Finally returned to the modern era, Rogers spent some time as a codename-free superhero, wearing a maskless non-costume. It was all pretty fun.
But after four years, the time has come for things to go back to normal. Captain America must again be Captain America. The status must be quo. And so, Marvel has announced that Steve Rogers will don the old-school stars-and-stripes outfit again. According to the Associated Press, it’ll happen in an all new Captain America #1, which will hit stores this July – and will allow Marvel to capitalize on the release of Captain America: The First Avenger. Writer Ed Brubaker, who’s been steering the franchise since 2005, will pen the new series, and pencller Steve McNiven will illustrate. (Unclear at this point: Will Stephen Colbert have to return Captain America’s shield?)
Readers, are you excited to hear about the return of the original Cap? Have you enjoyed this four-year deviation from the status quo? Will any comic book death-replacement-resurrection saga ever be better than “The Death and Return of Superman”?
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