I’m guessing the title of the book in questions is a spoiler unto itself, but he warned, my friends. Here there be spoilers.
Really, how could there not be? We’re talking about a comic book titled Captain America: Reborn. You just know he’s back. It’s unavoidable. Who is he, the one person reading who has never heard of the Marvel hero with the red, white, and blue running through his veins may ask? (And by the way, your very own, genuine Biff Bam Prize to the first person who tells me what song those lyrics belong to). He would be Steve Rogers aka Captain America, the man who was gunned down in a crowded New York street following the end of the Marvel mega event Civil War all the way back in 2007. Not only did Rogers death rock the real world, getting mainstream coverage in newspapers and on television, but it capped off the first half of an amazing run of stories from the pen of comic book auteur Ed Brubaker, who not only helped make Cap cool again, but also did the unthinkable when he made Captain America’s onetime teen ally Bucky into a badass villain named the Winter Soldier.
In the subsequent years since The Death of Captain America, the Marvel Universe (and its fans) had to adapt to the absence of the character that served as the conscious of that world. Maybe ours too. Think about it. Strip away the colours and the name and you still have a character that one can hope to emulate, and in a very real world way. Captain America was always a guy who tried to do the right thing, which is why fans, creators, and his comic book compatriots admired him so. While the new Captain America (a pistol-toting redeemed Bucky in an Alex Ross designed outfit) was the only character who could step into Steve Rogers shoes at this time, it was always inevitable that the real Cap would come back. And he has, possibly sooner than any of us expected.
The recently released hardcover Captain America: Reborn compiles the recent 6 issue mini-series written by Ed Brubaker and illustrated by the tandem of Bryan Hitch and Butch Guice. The story really is the culmination of the past 50+ issues of Brubaker’s vision, not just with Cap himself but also with the fates (for now) of villains such as the Red Skull and his hot to kill daughter, Sin. Of course, the book is also as advertising – Captain America is back. Reborn. Resurrected. While I won’t give you the explanation of how Steve Rogers returns to his rightful place in the Marvel Universe, I will say that in the hands of these creators the methods of his return are reasonable, acceptable, and kind of cool. And for those that would argue that Cap’s returns is as real world as a lot of the series has been, it’s worth remembering that 1) Cap was frozen in ice for decades, and 2) his villain is a guy with a red skull.
Some will argue that it was too soon to bring Steve Rogers back. Sure, we all knew that the inevitable day would come (just like the return of Bruce Wayne for all the Batman fans out there), but did it have to be so soon? Well, considering the world we live in right now, having a hero like Steve Rogers to read about is certainly not a bad thing. And with the upcoming Marvel Heroic Age imminently upon us, there’s no one else that can lead the charge more than the first and best Captain America.