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Assembling the Avengers: Captain America

Mark Bagley gives his take on the Super Soldier and shares exclusive Avengers Assemble art

By Ben Morse

On March 14, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes come together like never before as the stars of this summer’s big screen blockbuster “Marvel’s The Avengers” face a different kind of adventure in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #1 by the celebrated creative team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mark Bagley. As we count down to this action-packed new ongoing series, over the next five days we will get Bagley’s insider insight on bringing these characters to life and also debut exclusive art from the first issue!

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #1 inked preview art by Mark Bagley

There’s no hard and fast rule that says Captain America needs to be in charge of every Avengers team he’s a part of, but Mark Bagley tries to make sure Steve Rogers in the driver’s seat whether it’s official or not.

“I try and depict him as the de facto leader that all the other Avengers naturally, maybe even subconsciously, defer to,” he admits. “[Tony] Stark has a man crush on him. Thor just flat out respects him. Hawkeye would be jealous of him if he didn’t like and admire him so much. And [Black Widow] is smart enough to know Cap is the man—in a good way.”

Bagley brings his admiration of Captain America to AVENGERS ASSEMBLE, where it will fit well given the Super Soldier’s key role there as well as in this summer’s “Marvel’s The Avengers.” Cap remains relatively newly returned to his familiar place at the forefront of Earth’s Mightiest following his “death” and rebirth as well as succession by Bucky Barnes and the events of Fear Itself, but it doesn’t take long for the Sentinel of Liberty to step back into action; it never has.

“He’s a guy who is yanked out of his time and just accepts this wrenching experience with an ‘alright, what’s next?’ attitude,” Bagley reminds of Captain America’s early Avengers adventures. “I’ve always seen Cap as this solid, stoic natural born leader; a guy who doesn’t know how to quit. The kind of guy that people just naturally want to follow and are inspired by his mere presence: Perfect posture, chin up and looking ahead to meet any adversity.”

While Steve Rogers may not be a towering Thunder God or sporting emerald skin, Bagley wants to make sure the Star-Spangled Avenger still makes an impression, even amongst his impressive allies.

“He’s the peak of human development, so while not necessarily the tallest guy around, his musculature and bearing would have him stand out,” he explains. “I draw him with a really strong square chin, the classic dimple in his chin, and a shock of slightly unruly blond hair.

Captain America & Bucky by Mark Bagley

“He can run faster and jump higher than anyone else. While Cap is not super powered, everything he does is amped up just a bit past what any other ‘normal’ human should be capable of. I try and portray him as always balanced and moving with authority, with his years of combat experience enabling him to think two or three steps ahead of his opponents.”

Bagley counts Mike Zeck, John Byrne and John Buscema among his artistic influences when it comes to Captain America, but looks to the first man who drew him, Jack Kirby, first and foremost.

“If I try and emulate anyone’s sense of power and grace when it comes to Cap, it would have to be him,” he says.

While Bagley teases he’s only just begun to focus on Captain America’s part in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE, he hopes that before all’s said and done he’ll have a chance to pit the hero against some familiar foes:

“I dig when he’s thrust into some sort of ultra-scientific conflict. A.I.M., Hydra—evil scientists coming up with wild things to challenge Cap.”

Check in again tomorrow when Mark Bagley assembles another Avenger and shares more exclusive art with us!

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