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SYFY WIRE marvel comics

Captain America/Iron Man scribe on getting Steve Rogers & Tony Stark to quit bickering & play nice

By Trent Moore

Two of Marvel’s biggest heroes are joining forces for a new comic miniseries event, and SYFY WIRE caught up with the writer behind the project to dig into why — and how — you team-up a couple of the publisher’s biggest heroes in Captain America/Iron Man.

The new miniseries hits shelves on Nov. 24 and is written by Derek Landy, with art from Ángel Unzueta and colors by Rachelle Rosenberg. The story kicks off with a prison break that brings the two heroes together, and ramps up when Steve Rogers and Tony Stark realize they share a connection with one particular prisoner now on the loose.

So what drove Landy to want to mash-up these two heroes? He says he took a deep dive into the Marvel omnibus editions reliving the history of heroes like Spider-Man, Thor, Fantastic Four, and the Avengers, rediscovering those worlds at his kitchen table to revisit those stories and history. What he found was that he didn’t know those old stories quite as well as he’d thought, which turned into the perfect primer for a throwback team-up for two Marvel greats.

“All of these stories that I technically knew, had absorbed by osmosis, or had just seen retold and reimagined down the line, I was now reading for myself,” he told SYFY WIRE. “I didn't know it at the time, as I made my way through the first Iron Man and Captain America adventures, but this was actually very diligent research I was conducting — and so when I got the chance to team up Tony and Steve I drew very heavily on all that stuff.”

Check out an exclusive first look at Captain America/Iron Man below:

As for piecing the story together, Landy noted there’s “always the tightrope you’ve got to walk” when dealing with core members of the Avengers in a story. Namely, you have to nail the scope and focus for why it’s only about these two heroes, and where it fits into the larger Marvel universe.

“You've got to make the adventure big enough to make it worthwhile, but not so planet-worryingly huge that they're forced to call in the rest of the team,” Landy explained. “I reckon the key is to start off with a situation they can handle — in this case, a prison break — and then every issue increase the stakes until they're in too deep and it's just too late to call for reinforcements.”

Though fans familiar with Steve Rogers and Tony Stark’s relationship in stories like Civil War might expect the duo to be trading blows before the arc comes to an end, Landy said he found it more interesting to dig into what brings them together and makes them allies through decades of Marvel Comics history. Sure, they’ve butted heads, but they’re still founding members of the Avengers. They have to have a few things in common, right?

“The natural instinct for a writer would be to immediately put them at loggerheads. Nothing generates drama better than tension, after all,” Landy said. “But Tony just wants to protect people, and Steve is one of the kindest characters in comics, so I pretty much embraced the opportunity to step away from the tension and explore that friendship. It's funny, because when the miniseries was announced, there was quite a charmingly vocal element on Twitter who were all about the friendship. That confirmed to me that this approach was the right one.”

Landy noted these two heroes have decades of connections to mine, and even looking at their ongoing and recent Marvel Comics history, he found a through line to tell a story about two friends leaning on one another as they process their personal trauma with one of their few friends who can actually understand what they’ve been through.

“What people need to see right now is two old friends helping each other come to terms with some pretty major upheaval in each of their lives. Tony's still coming to terms with who he is ever since he returned, and Steve has unresolved issues from 'Secret Empire,'” he explained. “It's been bucketloads of fun coming up with ways of helping these two, and to see it all on the page — thanks to Ángel Unzueta's gorgeously precise artwork — is just an absolute thrill. I'm just hoping that, 60 years from now, someone will be sitting down at their kitchen table with a giant-sized omnibus, reading our story, and thinking to themselves, ‘How quaint!’”

Captain America/Iron Man is set for release on Nov. 24 from Marvel Comics.