Last week I reviewed the introduction of the new female Thor in the comics. I tried to focus on the comic, but that devolved rather a lot to talking about other comics. So this week, I don’t think I’m going to try again.
I’m going to review the introduction of the new Captain America, but the way that makes the most sense to me on how to do this is to compare it to the introduction of the new Thor. Both comics came out October 1 – so they meant for both things to be happening and news and exciting and interesting at once, and I think that also means that comparing them makes a lot of sense.
The other reason this is an interesting exercise is because the two are so different from one another. Both, as far as the news aspects go, are about a long-standing character being replaced, and at the same time increasing representation in comics. It’s a good goal, but the question exists as to whether it is a publicity stunt, or a long-term change.
So… what’s up with the new Captain America?
Wait, Captain America – Didn’t He Die?
Good catch, and yes, it made the news that a few years back, Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, died in the comics. The mantle of Captain America was taken up by his old friend and comrade, Bucky Barnes, only recently found to be alive. As, you know, the Winter Soldier.
The plot to the next Captain America film? Who knows! I hear new rumors flying.
But it’s hard to keep a dead comic hero down. In that spirit, Steve Rogers came back. Never really dead, he eventually ends up as Captain America again. One thing leading to another, more recently his Super Soldier Serum has been removed. Sure, he’s more than his super powers, but it also makes him age to his chronological age – old.
So he can’t do any supering. Again, not dead, so they could certainly solve this one and get him his powers back some day. That door is open. But what’d they do in the mean time?
There’s Literally No Drama Left in this Reveal
And so a new Captain America is chosen – a known hero, a man of incredible inner fortitude, but no super powers. And one we’ve seen in the movies! It’s Sam Wilson: Falcon.
Well, okay, he’ll have wings. That, combined with the shield, should be pretty awesome. Plus, there are times where it feels like he does have powers… some sort of ability to talk to birds? Kind of like Ant Man being able to talk to ants… an unnecessary power but there nonetheless…
But that’s not really important. He’s no Steve Rogers – no super serum. And they go to great pains to make sure we know, grounded and community-minded. His father was a community organizer. They tell us twice. First Steve tells us, narrating at the beginning. Then later on, Hydra tells us, citing it as a weakness.
To me, it felt a bit like an attempt to tie it in with Obama a bit, and ride that excitement train… you know, six years into the presidency. Maybe a little late… I have no idea how grounded in past comics this is, so I’ll leave it there.
Thor versus Captain America
Alright, so two of the big heroes in the Avengers are new people, taking on the mantle of their predecessor. Both introduced on the same day, both with highly successful movie franchises… so they were handled in pretty much the same way, right?
Not even a little. Thor #1, which I reviewed last week, was the first comic in a series. This new Captain America was introduced in Captain America #25, wrapping up two years of storyline and, now that we know who the hero is, we get to see him now headlining a newly-restarted-at-number-1 comic:
Same writer for the new series, with Rick Remender (much like with Thor and Jason Aaron, as was pointed out to me last week). He’s also been writing Uncanny Avengers, so I have this feeling that we’re going to see Sam Wilson joining that team – something that is a big question for me when it comes to the new Thor.
Oh, because unlike here, where they even make a joke (in the image I included above) about how it’s not at all a surprise who the new Captain America is… we still don’t know who the new Thor is. So one is a mystery, even while she headlines her own new series – sink or swim! – while the other is revealed as a known and done-deal, and then gets to lead his own comic. Oh, and show up in others, too:
I talked last week about how there were no indications that the new Thor was going to be replacing the old Thor in any of the teams he appears in – that she might just exist in the one comic, and just be put to the side. Meanwhile, here’s the new Captain America, permeating the comics. Because the old Thor is around – and is even projected to be around, still hammerless, in 8 months. Per this cover:
Yep, there’s the male Thor, replacement weapon in hand, and metal arm (he lost his arm in Thor #1). Wait, who’s that next to him? Is that… Sam Wilson as Captain America? Wait, who’s that next to him? Is that old man Steve Rogers himself?
So, if I were to do some speculation here, I would say that the new Thor is going to have a much shorter shelf life than the new Captain America. But I don’t know! Tell me what you think. Will we see more of the new Thor? Will either make their way into the movies? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
All images from Captain America #25 unless otherwise noted, and all copyright Marvel Comics and from the Marvel Comics App.