San Diego Comic-Con 2010

SDCC 2010: Captain America: Man Out of Time

Mark Waid makes his long-awaited return to the Sentinel of Liberty in a new limited series!

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By Jim Beard

Writer Mark Waid returns to one of the characters for which he's best known in CAPTAIN AMERICA: MAN OUT OF TIME. The five-issue limited series will spotlight the time in Cap's life following his reemergence in the modern world and his struggle to adapt.

"I've missed being able to write about a man who's troubled, and even skeptical, but never cynical," says Waid of the series. "And I very much missed writing about someone who's a patriot in this day and age and what that means in the 21st century.

"What I've learned this time around is that it's much harder to write Captain America as a confident leader when he's this disoriented. Not impossible-just difficult. I'm not used to dealing with a Steve Rogers who's so out of his element."

CAPTAIN AMERICA: MAN OUT OF TIME #1 cover
Waid, known for his acclaimed 1995-1996 and 1998-1999 runs on CAPTAIN AMERICA, calls his return to the character "challenging" yet looks forward to once again adding to Cap's legend.

"Ed Brubaker and his Magic Writing Hat have really defined the entire Captain America mythos for the 21st century [and I know] that I can't rest on any laurels," he notes. "Luckily, I feel like I know Steve Rogers pretty well; like he's an old friend, so it's easy to find the voice again."

CAPTAIN AMERICA: MAN OUT OF TIME centers around Steve Rogers' view of his "jump" from World War II super-soldier to modern-day Avenger. In the series, Waid ponders what exactly bothers the shield-slinging hero the most about his displacement.

"Surprisingly, it's not the technology," he explains. "Steve Rogers has been to Atlantis. I'm pretty reassured that he can figure out how to use a cellphone given proper instructions. He's not a caveman. What throws him the most is that he's literally just blinked-just blinked-and all of a sudden, the world he knew is alien enough where it's surreal and dreamlike and yet familiar enough to where it still hurts to see the things that are broken or tarnished or just gone.

"Captain America blinked, and in the space of a moment, he got thrown into an America that was supposed to have been a utopia by now but isn't. Civil rights and equal rights have persevered for the most part, yes, but everything's different, and Cap has no learning curve. Not when it comes to social context. Civil rights, equal pay for equal work-these things were distant goals in Cap's future and now they're pretty much a reality, which is terrific, but at the same time, we were also supposed to have flying cars

CAPTAIN AMERICA: MAN OUT OF TIME #1 variant cover by Art Adams
and jetpacks by now. The future isn't at all what he'd envisioned. Yesterday, by his clock, we were at war with Japan and now they own us technologically. Our allies are our enemies, our enemies are our allies, society as a whole is angrier and far more violent and sexual, which is the hardest thing for him to wrap his head around; these are hard changes for Steve Rogers to adjust to."

Above all, the series aims to address why Steve Rogers as Captain America can leave the 1940's and still stand as a relevant hero with weight and impact in today's world.

"He's more relevant than ever because through an accident of suspended-animation fate, he's gone from being a universal symbol of American values to that which America now loves most: an iconoclast," says Waid. "He's now in a world where [he has] to fight against the status quo of corporatism and cynicism that redefined the nation in his absence. More power to him."

 

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