By Jim Beard
All of Marveldom Assembled teeters on the brink of discovery as the identity of the Man Who Would Be Captain America nears illumination with CAPTAIN AMERICA #34, due to hit these shores on January 23.
Several candidates, men of skill and daring, step forward to be recognized, some of them worthy, others less so. Only one will wear the Stars and Stripes. Only one will heft the famous shield. Only one will represent one of the greatest nations on Earth into the new millennium.
But who? Who? Who?
The onrushing revelation weighs on you heavily - we know. But your very best buds here at Marvel.com have devised an amusement for your edification and to fill the hungry void of your waiting.
Marvel recently releaed a teaser advertisement narrowing the field of potential Caps to six. What follows is a handy guide to the most likely and unlikely Marvel characters to potentially slip on the biggest boots the Marvel Universe has ever seen: those of Captain America!
In other words: we got your odds right here, True Believer. Let the speculation begin!
Currently the adventurer called Ronin, Clint Barton, the most masterful archer in all the Marvel Universe, has slung his bow and arrows for liberty and justice, fighting the good fight as the on-again-off-again Avenger most famously known as Hawkeye.
Skilled combatant with deadly accuracy. Longtime friendship with original Cap. Becoming new Cap would provide means to stick it to Tony Stark.
Former criminal with police record. Longtime rivalry with original Cap. Becoming new Cap isn't really a job he wants, as he made clear during the FALLEN SON mini-series.
The former sidekick of the original Captain America once thought to be dead, Bucky Barnes has resurfaced in recent years and made up for lost time, kicking major amounts of butt across the globe.
: Learned superheroing at the side of Cap. Skilled marksman and shrewd adversary. Would honor the memory of Steve Rogers.
Has a different view of superheroing than Cap. Spent decades carrying out nasty assassinations as a brainwashed living weapon. May not want the association to his former life. Highly mentally unstable.
A government agent unlike any other, John Walker brings his superhuman strength and mastery of weapons to a career of protecting the country he loves dearly.
Replaced Steve Rogers as Captain America once before with the blessing of the U.S. government. Has served on several super hero teams, including the Avengers. Professional and patriotic.
Got replaced by Steve Rogers as Captain America by the U.S. government. Finds it hard to get along with super-hero teams, including the Avengers. Irritable and irritating.
The superhuman protector of England, Jospeh Chapman follows in the footsteps of past Union Jacks, maintaining a proud legacy of service to Queen and country.
Used to wearing a flag as a costume. Believes a country's spirit a living thing. Has fought alongside the original Captain America.
Not used to wearing the American
flag as a costume. Believes he's possessed by an ancient British spirit. Once fought against the original Captain America.
The finest inventor and weapons designer of his age, Tony Stark strikes at evil in his high-tech power suit and has spearheaded an effort to organize every super-hero in the United States with the 50 State Initiative.
Knew the original Cap better than most as a fellow Avenger and perhaps his best friend. Familiar with wielding and wearing armor. Has his own very specific idea of what it means to be an American.
Fought and incarcerated the original Cap during Civil War. Familiar with drinking and abusing alcohol. Has his own very specific idea of what it means to be an American-not to mention a zillion other responsibilities.
THE RED SKULL
The Red Skull
One of the single greatest villains the world has ever been subjected to, Johann Schmidt possesses a calculatingly clever mind and a driving need to conquer and dominate.
Unparalleled strategist and tactician. Decades of experience with weapons and technology. Can respect a man who unflinchingly champions an ideal.
Unparalleled criminal and fascist. Decades of experience with subterfuge and torture. Cannot stomach the shining example of the American ideal. And oh yeah: He's a Nazi!
So who will be the new Captain America? Find out with the rest of the world on January 23, in CAPTAIN AMERICA #34, by the award-winning team of writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting! While you're waiting, read classic Captain America comics with Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.