December 27, 2009

Marvel Snapshot: Captain America Reborn- The Debacle


Happy Holidays and welcome to my take on everything Marvel. This weekly column called Marvel Snapshot is a quick shot at something relatively important going on recently in the Marvel U. Sometimes the subject matter is a pretty picture and other times it’s the biggest mess you’ve ever seen. This week is the latter. Just by the title alone anyone who reads Captain America knows what I’m talking about but for those of you that do not, well, get ready for some major league stupidity. For those of you who’ve been living in a cave, Steve has made several cameos in Avengers books (Dark Avengers Annual, New Avengers Annual, and Iron Man) even before Who Will Wield the Shield came out, let alone the final stinking issue of REBORN!!!

captain-america-who-will-wield-the-shieldOk, so Captain America (Steve Rogers) was apparently killed in Captain America (vol. 5) #25 around March 2007. All right, so let’s see a show of hands for the people that thought he was dead for good…….OK. Now let’s see how many knew he’d be back before you had to change your car’s oil. Yeah, me too. There have been a lot of inconsistencies, retcons, and out right foolish things released, but this latest tom-foolery takes the cake. Let’s back-up to July of 2009 shall we? The Marvel hype machine was in full swing for months now with teasers galore of Steve Rogers’ return. It would be an astounding limited series that would showcase the re-entry of Steve into the Marvel U: the Captain America: Reborn mini-series. I bought a few of the Reborn issues and they were decent but why did it need to be extended? It seems to me that it could have been wrapped up by early December and “The Shield Wielder” one-shot could come out a couple of weeks later. No harm, no foul right?

Please don’t misunderstand me here, I like Brubaker’s writing. He’s the best thing since the 80s and John Byrne’s run. I also loved his work on Books of Doom and X-Men: Deadly Genesis. He’s been consistently a solid writer for Marvel now since 2004 and shows no signs of slowing down. That being said, if he’s the guy making the calls about Steve’s return, then how did this monumental mistake happen? I just finished reading Who Will Wield the Shield and I must say it was a really good read; just really a month out of place. The word continuity seems to mean less and less everyday to comic book companies. I guess they don’t realize that the more they do things like this the more times they have to cover their tracks in the future.

So the big question for me is; “How did Marvel screw this up?” Captain America: Reborn was released in July and originally solicited to be a 5 issue limited series. Sometime around late October or early November it was changed because “5 issues couldn’t contain this gi-normous event,” or something like that. The man in charge, Joe Quesada, was quoted as saying that Brubaker had been planning Rogers return from the get -go in his Cup O’ Joe column. Now, I know when this is asked Marvel will give some sideways answer like-“Well, we thought it was in the best interest of the fans”…or “We didn’t want to take any thunder out of the sails of Siege by that being his comeback issue.” Honestly, I’d really be OK if they just came out and said sorry we messed up. I mean seriously, Marvel is losing some street cred by doing dumb crap like this. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read people bashing Marvel for this Steve returns mess.

Well honestly, I’ve said enough already but hopefully Siege will be so impressive that it will make the world forget about these continuity transgressions so we can all move forward to the next time Marvel has to add an issue to a limited series half way through, only to spoil it before it really gets to the end. Thanks Marvel, and Merry Christmas to you too!

Billy Dunleavy



  1. If the people behind these Cap books weren’t some of my favorite creators around, this whole thing would be pretty annoying. It’s pretty hard for me to get worked up with anyone in a 3 mile radius of Bryan Hitch.


  2. As a fan it doesn’t really bother me that they missed the timing with the release of all the Avengers books before Reborn had concluded (I mean we knew he was coming back anyway, right?). What bugs me about this is more from a sales perspective: People are now less likely to get Reborn #6 due to them already knowing how it all ends up. I know Brubaker said #6 is a not-to-miss issue, but how many people will listen? Besides the completists who want the entire run, I’d expect sales to drop on the final issue as people won’t want to shell out another $4 for a book they already know the conclusion to. And that sucks for retailers. What could have been marketed as one of the biggest Marvel issues in recent history, has fizzled into nothing exciting. Still, “In Brubaker I trust!”

  3. I hear ya there. I still believe that creators rule the large chunk of the collector pie, so it will do incredibly well purely based off Brubaker and Hitch being on it.

    There is a weird part of that enjoys the Lost-esque puzzling of it all. Reborn still going on, Steve Rogers showing up in the New Avengers Annual, and the aftermath of it all in the Who Will Wield the Shield Special. Part of me likes putting it all together.


  4. InfiniteSpeech

    Thanks Billy for putting it out there lol This was annoying me and I was beginning to feel like I was the only one a little ticked at the release of some of the books that spoiled the ending. Regardles of if we knew he (Steve) would come back we don’t want the “how” to be spoiled. All of the hype about this storyline and for it to be delivered out of sync just blows it for the reader and at 4 bucks a book you just can’t risk doing that

  5. billy

    @IS-Yeah, this really got on my nerves (could you tell? lol). Why couldn’t they just delay “Who Will Wield” until after Reborn #6? They delay everything else under the sun. It just doesn’t make any sense. And as far as the cameos in the other books, go back and re-read them and ask yourself; Where thewy really necessary? Not really. They had no bearing on the story at all. It was all for “show”.

  6. Eli

    This was something that I was going to pick up, every issue dealing with Cap’s return. Even though I have to travel a super long way to my lcs, and $4 a book is steep, I was going to do it. However, with all of this crap going on, I just quit. I’m not driving almost 3 hours round trip for what they’re giving us. I’ll just be content in the knowledge that Steve is back, and I’ll wait for the rest.

    Besides, I can’t get too annoyed, I mean, Steve’s back. That’s the best part. Now they just need to get rid of Bucky… permanently. Hah!

  7. Is anyone else out there, besides me, kind of hoping there’s a Batman Beyond, Bruce Wayne-Terry McGinnis, type dynamic in the works? I really REALLY like what Buck was bringing to the Cap mythos and I feel like it never truly got explored enough. Maybe Steve could be his “eye in the sky” his “Nick Fury.” How great would it be to have the new head of SHIELD be the former Captain America, it’s almost too perfect.

    Anyone else agree or should I just go back in my corner on this one and embrace Steve back to the mantle?


  8. InfiniteSpeech

    I’m cool with that idea too Mitch I’d rather see Bucky stay Cap and really get into the role. Since Marvel already spoiled that that is probably the role they’re going with in the Dark Avengers annual 🙂

  9. Eli

    Mitch, whereas that does sound cool, I just can’t get over anyone else being Cap. It’s gotta be Steve Rogers, but that’s just me. For that matter, I like Nick Fury as Nick Fury, I think those two fit perfect in those roles. Fury the grade A bad@$$, and Steve being the most noble hero-type guy on the planet.

    ‘Nuff said

  10. Billy

    @Mitch-I’m figuring something like that will happen. If you noticed in the one Annual (I can’t remember which one) Steve kinda had a Nick Fury-esque outfit on and you know Osborn isn’t going to be director of anything after Siege so something along those lines would make sense.

  11. Ok, I just picked up and read that Dark Avengers Annual. While it does confirm my wishes for the characters (see above) it definitely makes me see the point of this original article. That was totally left field. That book came out before Reborn #5-6. before Who Will Wield the Shield, and even before the New Avengers Annual and there’s absolutely no book anywhere in there that explains that Steve is to become Bucky’s SHIELD esque mentor.

    I conceded, they could have done a much better job organizing the path to SIEGE. Hopefully SIEGE will be so awesome we forget all about this and with COIPEL at the drawing table, it just might!


    PS. Support Indy Comic Book Week tomorrow! Especially support JOHNNY RECON! (Shameless!)

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