Millions of Americans watching the Super Bowl got their first extended look at Chris Evans playing the patriotic hero Captain America. They also saw a quick glimpse of his nemesis, the villainous Red Skull, who opposes all Captain America stands for.
Marvel Comics hopes to have plenty of comics available for those curious about the Captain, leading up to his big-budget movie, “Captain America: The First Avenger,” set for release July 22.
Captain America first appeared in “Captain America Comics” No. 1, with a cover date of March 1941. Months before the United States officially entered World War II, Captain America is shown on the cover socking Adolf Hitler.
Captain America became one of the most popular wartime heroes, but his popularity waned in the postwar era, and by 1953 his comic had been canceled.
But the Captain hadn’t been forgotten. When Stan Lee began his Marvel Comics line of superheroes in the early 1960s, he remembered Captain America, who had been published by Timely Comics, a predecessor of Marvel. He revived Captain America in the pages of “Avengers” No. 4, and starred him in his own stories in “Tales of Suspense.”
The first of Lee and Jack Kirby’s Silver Age Captain America solo stories are collected in “Marvel Masterworks: Captain America.” The origins of Captain America, his nemesis the Red Skull and Cap’s partner, Bucky, are all in this collection.
In the 1980s, Roger Stern (“Avengers”) and John Byrne (“Uncanny X-Men”) created a well-regarded run on “Captain America” that has been collected in the hardcover “War and Remembrance,” which contains an updated Captain America origin.
Also in the 1980s, the late Mark Gruenwald was a prolific writer on the “Captain America” series. Two collections of his comics — “Man and Wolf” and “The Captain” — are scheduled to be released in February and March, respectively.
Brubaker also wrote “Steve Rogers: Super Soldier,” collected in hardcover this month with art by Dale Eaglesham. This series has ties to Captain America’s early World War II adventures, and has a strong spy novel feel.
Marvel is offering a free movie tie-in digital comic, “Captain America: First Vengeance,” at captainamerica.marvel.com. It’s written by Fred Van Lente with art by Luke Ross and Richard Isanove.
“For a lot of people, they’ve lived with Steve Rogers for decades, so they really do feel like they know him already,” said Stephen Broussard, co-producer of the movie “Captain America: The First Avenger,” in a news release. “So, it’s just another opportunity to continue fleshing him out in the Marvel Cinematic Universe the way he has been in the standard comics universe for years.”
New digital issues will be on sale each week at marvel.com.
- By Matthew Price
From Friday’s The Oklahoman