J. Michael Straczynski to Return to Monthly Marvel Comics

After a long hiatus from Marvel Comics following the controversial One More Day mini-series he co-created with Joe Quesada, J. Michael Straczynski has returned to writing a monthly ongoing series for the publisher. In an interview with Gizmodo, Straczynski revealed that he and artist Jesús Saiz, who most recently worked with Jason Aaron on The Punisher, will be the creative team behind the new Captain America series launching in September.

The new book will launch following the completion of the current Cold War crossover series which is running between both of the publisher’s current Captain America titles, Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty and Captain America: Symbol of Truth. Straczynski‘s return to Marvel Comics, for whom he wrote ongoing Thor and Spider-Man solo books, is major news and, according to the writer, was a slow-developing process. “Like most things, the process was incremental,” said Straczynski of his return to monthly Marvel Comics. “It started when Wil Moss asked me to do a short piece for the big Thor anniversary issue, which ended up getting a fair bit of attention. Then he asked me to do a Thanos story for that big issue, which also drew a lot of eyeballs, which led to me writing yet another piece for Marvel Age 1000 coming out soon. During all this, Wil Moss asked if I’d write a six-issue mini-series that would be a bit of an Event.  I did so, it was a ton of fun for everyone involved, and Wil gave Alanna [Smith, Marvel comics editor] one of my scripts that involved Captain America.

While we all await news on just what that event that his six-issue mini-series might be, Straczynski reminded everyone that he’s always had Cap on the brain. “Alanna liked how I handled the character, and sends an email asking if I’d like to take over the monthly Captain America book…and that was pretty much the best thing ever, because I’ve always had a strong affinity for Cap, which is why I would sneak him into just about everything I wrote for Spider-Man and Thor.” Longtime fans of Marvel Comics will remember that Straczynski slipped Cap into Amazing Spider-Man #537 where the character gave one his most memorable speeches…one that made its way into Captain America: Civil War.

As for what he has planned for Steve Rogers in the new book, Straczynski says “it’s all about servicing the main character first and foremost.” That’s going to entail tackling a period of time never before explored in depth in Cap comics: Cap’s early, transformative years. “One thing about Steve Rogers that’s never really been addressed is the period between when his parents died, and when he became Captain America. We’re talking about a sickly, skinny 17-year-old kid, trying to survive on his own for because he’s stubborn and independent, on the street for several years, hustling for any gig he can get, even if it’s bigger than he is, trying to afford food and a place to stay. So we will counterpoint a present-tense story in which Captain America faces off against a new villain of supernatural origin, with a story about his younger self, with both stories tightly interwoven.

By exploring those years, Straczynski hopes he’ll get at what makes Steve Rogers–not Captain America–tick. “Because there’s one other, key aspect to that period that we will be addressing. The years young Steve was on his own were the same years during which the American Bund – for all intents and purposes the Nazi Party in America – was growing very powerful in real-world New York, blocks from where he lived. They held public marches and rallies, harassed people, and spread hate, all part of an effort to get America on the side of the Nazis, a campaign that came to a head with the biggest Nazi rally on American soil in history, as tens of thousands of people, Nazis and Nazi sympathizers, crammed into Madison Square Garden to celebrate their dream of a thousand-year Reich.

And Straczynski hopes that by exploring that era, he’ll find in Steve the same type of motivation to be a hero that Peter Parker found after the death of his Uncle Ben. “We are going to put young Steve right into the middle of that real-life vortex, where despite terrible odds he will make a crucial difference at an even more crucial moment. For a young Peter Parker, the murder of his uncle Ben was a transformational event putting him on the path to becoming Spider-Man. This story will be equally transformational, putting a young Steve Rogers on the path to being the hero he eventually becomes.”

It’s a novel pitch from Straczynski and one that could either go a long way in redefining the character or threaten to anger hardcore fans. See for yourself when Captain America #1 hits stores this September.

Source: Gizmodo

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