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Marvel Comics aiming to capture buzz from Captain America Super Bowl spot

by Matthew Price Modified: April 22, 2013 at 2:41 pm •  Published: February 11, 2011
Hayley Atwell and Chris Evans in "Captain America: The First Avenger."
Hayley Atwell and Chris Evans in "Captain America: The First Avenger."

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.

This illustration provided by Marvel Comics shows the cover of the first issue of Captain America, created in 1941 to incarnate patriotic feeling during World War II. In the latest issue, which hits the stands Wednesday, March 7, 2007, Captain America is shot down by a sniper as he leaves a courthouse. (AP Photo/Marvel Comics) **NO SALES** ORG XMIT: NYR101
This illustration provided by Marvel Comics shows the cover of the first issue of Captain America, created in 1941 to incarnate patriotic feeling during World War II. In the latest issue, which hits the stands Wednesday, March 7, 2007, Captain America is shot down by a sniper as he leaves a courthouse. (AP Photo/Marvel Comics) **NO SALES** ORG XMIT: NYR101

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.

In recent years, writer Ed Brubaker has been the man behind the “Captain America” saga. The “Captain America Lives” Omnibus features 15 comics, plus a prologue, of Captain America’s friends and allies discovering that Captain America’s death might not have been truly final.

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
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From Friday’s The Oklahoman

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by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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