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Cap is back — and this time Marvel baddies might be seeing double. Marvel Comics is launching not one, but two new Captain America comics: one featuring Steve Rogers, and another starring Sam Wilson. Just like with Spider-Man, Thor and Hulk, we’re getting two Captains America.
In April, Marvel will issue the one-shot Captain America #0, which will be a new beginning for the founding Avenger and serve as a springboard for two new comics. Starting in May, Captain America: Symbol of Truth will focus on Sam and be written by Tochi Onyebuchi with art by R.B. Silva (Powers of X). Then in June, Marvel will launch Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty, which will center on Steve and be written by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing with art by Carmen Carnero (Hellions).
Captain America #0, which is written by Kelly, Lanzing, and Onyebuchi with art by Mattia De Iulis, "is effectively a conversation between Steve and Sam about what it means for both of them to be Captain America simultaneously," Lanzing told Entertainment Weekly. "But that conversation isn't had in a room sitting down over beers, that conversation is had while flying/holding onto the side of a massive rocket heading into the sky to obliterate all of mankind because Arnim Zola is back and he's got a bad plan."
The creators of the comics explain that going forward, Sam will be the public-facing Captain America, wearing the costume and holding the shield, while Steve will be more inward-looking, wearing civilian clothes (though still being Cap).
"We've seen Sam Wilson deal with the legacy of Captain America and race in very inward terms with regards to America: What does it mean for America to accept a Black Captain America?" Onyebuchi told Entertainment Weekly. "One of the things I'm teasing in my book is, what does it mean for the rest of the world to accept a Black Captain America? That's another part of the equation. If Captain America is in many ways a mimesis of America, with all the good and bad pathologies, what does that mean for the way in which America interacts with the rest of the world?"
In Symbol of Truth, which the creators describe as a spy thriller, Onyebuchi explains that Sam “has to get to the bottom of a conspiracy” and “figure out what the truth of the matter is.”
"When so much of American foreign policy historically has been founded on operating in the shadows, manipulating federal employees or members of another government into enacting regime change for the benefit of various corporate interests, what is it going to look like when Sam runs up against the people who would wish to manipulate him for their own ends in terms of furthering 'America's interests' abroad?” Onyebuchi said. “What does it mean to be the 'Symbol of Truth' in that context?"
Meanwhile, Sentinel of Liberty will have Steve grappling with who he is now that he’s handed off the shield, how America has changed, and what it means to be a patriot in the present day.
"Steve is a member of the Greatest Generation. That's so important, especially now, because he's seen so much of the 20th century and he's really able to weigh it," Kelly said. "We've seen a radical shift in our country and, especially for a lot of young people, a real fury and disappointment at what our country has started to do to itself. Cap can't turn his back on America, neither of the Caps can, because the idea is good. The core is good and worth fighting for, but both need to wrestle with what that means in the year of our Lord 2022."
Added Lanzing: "In our book, he is going to be really looking at what it means to be Steve Rogers. We'll see what it means when he finds a threat that truly needs his version of Captain America, and what he has to step up to become that. What does Captain America mean to Steve beyond being the leader of the Avengers and answering to the government? Since he feels he's handed that off."
Captain America #0 will be available in April, with Captain America: Symbol of Truth coming out in May, and Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty launching in June.