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By Ethan Kaye
It's been an interesting year for Captain America.
Well, actually it's more been an interesting year for the CAPTAIN AMERICA title, since one Cap got shot dead by his mind-controlled girlfriend Sharon Carter in March of 2007 and the new one just started his tenure a few months back. But as far as the book goes, what an interesting ride!
If you haven't been following the title closely, Steve Rogers' one-time sidekick Bucky Barnes has taken up the mantle of Captain America with support from S.H.I.E.L.D., Tony Stark, and Natasha Romanoff. The Red Skull has allied himself with the Austrian mentalist Dr. Faustus and the android geneticist Arnim Zola in a new bid to destroy America-and having had no Captain America in a position to stop him for a few months, he's amazingly close to success.
Oh, and the original Cap's aforementioned mind-controlled girlfriend found out she's pregnant. She's currently trapped by the Red Skull and she just found Steve Rogers on ice.
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This story of espionage, subversion, and legacies gets better and more intriguing with every twist and turn. Now, the saga of Red Skull's near-triumph enters a new stage with the "The Man Who Bought America," starting in CAPTAIN AMERICA #37. The biggest surprise revealed so far? Another
new Captain America!
"You'll just have to wait and see exactly what this is," teases series writer Ed Brubaker of this new development. "All we know so far is that it sure looks like Steve Rogers, and the Red Skull and his people have him."
The Red Skull has never had success so closely within his grasp in his years of campaigning against America and its greatest champion, but could the proverbial banana peel be setting itself up for the master villain to slip on?
"[The Red Skull has] been plotting this out for a long time, so it's not going to be easy for our heroes," notes Brubaker. "Still, the Skull does have a tendency to overestimate his own intelligence sometimes, and miscalculate. We've seen that time and again with him."
But for the time being, the "Death of Captain America" trilogy reads as a Skull triumph in every way. By weaving together the many plot threads already running through the
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Marvel Universe, Brubaker has created a lush backdrop for his Captain America stories to play out in.
"S.H.I.E.L.D. is a big part of the Cap world as I write it, and always has been," comments the writer. "I love having a part of the espionage part of the book that actually has to deal with bureaucracy sometimes, too. And Tony Stark is such a great kind of tragically-flawed character now."
With the action coming hard and fast, Brubaker only bemoans a lack of space to give all the attention he wants to the assorted members of his sprawling cast:
"There's no room for anyone else, outside the Skull and Arnim Zola and Dr. Faustus and their various minions-Sin, Crossbones, the new Serpent Squad. I can barely fit all them in, honestly, and still have room to show the good guys."
However, the writer promises more spotlight for Sin during the upcoming arc as well as a long-awaited reunion.
"Wait until you see Captain America and the Falcon, fighting side-by-side again!"
"The Man Who Bought America" begins in CAPTAIN AMERICA #37, coming your way on April 16. While you're waiting, get caught up on Cap with Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.