Captain America: Enter Dimension Z

Captain America: Enter Dimension Z Pt. 2

Rick Remender explores Phrox society, divulges his plans for Arnim Zola and more!

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Captain America #3 preview art by John Romita Jr.

By Jim Beard

In part one of our exclusive tour of Dimension Z, CAPTAIN AMERICA writer Rick Remender described his thought process on the design and construction of bio-fanatic Arnim Zola’s devilish otherworldly playground. Now we delve further into the creatures that populate Dimension Z, Zola’s mindset, and a glimpse of what to expect in future issues as Cap explores his new surroundings.

Marvel.com: Touching again on the Phrox, Dimension Z’s indigenous species, so far Cap’s seen only barbarity. Is there kindness in Dimension Z? Are there going to be friendly faces?

Rick Remender: Yeah, but it needs to be strange in ways that we don’t necessarily understand, and I think the Phrox, the alien species that he encounters there—there is kindness and there is a spectrum. It’s not just a lot of ferocity. While there’s definitely an aspect of totalitarianism and barbarism within the Phrox community and how they operate, there’s something there that Steve can inspire. That was a big part of why I wanted to do [this story] as well, because it really speaks to Steve’s character that he could inspire or perhaps change the doings of an alien civilization that he would stumble upon. Unless I misunderstand it, I think that that was even some of Jack Kirby’s intention with Cap [in his 1970’s run], that showing that the quality and character of this guy, when you even drop him into an alien community, is going to have an effect on how they operate.

Marvel.com: So there’s a potential for Steve to be a George Washington in Dimension Z? A rebel leader?

Rick Remender: There is, but it’s not going to be simple. At the same time, his number one priority is protecting Ian. When he was escaping from Zola’s tower and he saw that young boy floating in the tube, his instinct, whether it was a good or a bad one given how doped up he was, was to take that child with him and protect that child. “Don’t leave that child in the hands of Arnim Zola” is all he thought, but now he’s in a situation where this child is dependent upon him for survival. While he will have an impact, and while he will serve as a catalyst for change within some of these societies of people that he ends up running around with, his number one priority is always going to be Ian and getting home.

Captain America #3 preview art by John Romita Jr.

Marvel.com: Will Cap be able to eat the food and drink the water in Dimension Z?

Rick Remender: Yeah, I mean he finds things that he can. All water has to be boiled for a long time. He’s learned that lesson the hard way from worms borrowing out of his skin and whatnot. They boil the water a lot.

Marvel.com: One of the other things that’s fascinating is the way the mutates talk. They’re speaking in slang. Is that being translated for us, the reader, into English, or are they actually speaking some form of English?

Rick Remender: Yeah, it is English that they’ve obviously learned from Zola. Given that they are stupid and vicious creatures, I wanted it to sound like they’d also created their own slang and their own version of it. It’ll make enough sense, but it should seem alien and skewed because they’ve basically been evolving for generations and generations in Dimension Z. It seems to me that it made more sense for them. Yes, their foundation language is English because Zola is English and that’s the language they speak, but they’ve kind of got their own guttural, ugly version of it. Like “Me crush-kill,” you know, and then I try and change it up a little bit so it has its specific cadence and it sounds specific to them.

Marvel.com: Tell us about what we can expect going forward in the series in the next month or two.

Rick Remender:  CAPTAIN AMERICA #3 is where I start to dig in and tell some backstory a little bit. Most people don’t know much about Arnim Zola, and his origin hasn’t really been told. While we’re spending a lot of time in issue #3 exploring Steve Rogers growing up, we see the first glimmer of the man who becomes Captain America in this flashback, and as I was writing that I realized my villain is going to become a two-dimensional construct that I don’t care about if I don’t do the same for him.

Marvel.com: How will you do that?

Captain America #3 preview art by John Romita Jr.

Rick Remender: In issue #3 we get a glimpse of what Arnim Zola was like when he was a human being around the same time in the 1920’s when Steve was a young man trying to survive the mean streets of the Lower East Side during the Great Depression. I think about half the issue is spent getting a look at who Zola was and who Steve was and really starting to look into their characters, and the other half is Steve dealing with threats and trying to protect Ian in Dimension Z. We jump forward in time a few times, and in CAPTAIN AMERICA #3 we get the biggest lightning bolt of the series so far where we find out what it was Zola was doing to Steve in issue #1. Besides just taking his blood, Zola took a giant machine and stabbed a hypodermic needle into his heart, and at the end of issue #3 we get a very good idea of what that was and what he was doing and that will play a very significant role in Steve’s life in Dimension Z moving forward.

Pick up CAPTAIN AMERICA #2, on sale now!

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