A brand new Swordsman aims to make Cap’s life miserable
Captain America just wants to travel across America and right the small injustices that he has often missed. A simple wish, a noble one. And one the brand new Swordsman has no intention of letting Cap achieve without a fight.
Mark Waid took a moment from learning blacksmithing to tell us about the new villain, give credit to his collaborator Chris Samnee, and continue to promote the rehabilitation of Steve Rogers.
Marvel.com: To start from a broad perspective, as a writer what about creating a new Swordsman appealed to you? What kind of challenges did the character present in terms of being revamped and reintroduced?
Mark Waid: To be honest, it was Chris Samnee’s suggestion. The challenge was to introduce and motivate him quickly to make room for a dynamic sword vs. shield battle!
Marvel.com: As much as you can, without spoiling things, what does this new Swordsman have in common and how does he differ from his predecessors who used that name?
Mark Waid: He looks very much the same—I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some relation to the original Swordsman—but this one’s different in that he’s basically an extortionist. That, and he may or may not be being played by someone else.
Marvel.com: As an antagonist, how does he fit in with the overall theme of this opening arc of Steve reconnecting with himself and rediscovering Captain America?
Mark Waid: Cap has to fight Swordsman to save an entire small town from destruction. As is the ongoing theme of this book, this is about Steve Rogers connecting with and saving ordinary people in the heartland, the kinds of people he doesn’t often encounter in New York or Washington.
Marvel.com: Given your history, it is clear you and Chris Samnee make an excellent team. On creating the new Swordsman, how did that collaboration work? How much did Chris help you determine things like the character’s personality, motives, and such, and how did you help him to craft the character’s look?
Mark Waid: Straight up, this is 90% Chris. I’m terrible at design, so I always leave that to my collaborators—but giving the Swordsman a unique voice was my challenge to face.
Marvel.com: To stay with art for a moment, Matthew Wilson’s coloring, in collaboration with Chris’s art, favors something sunnier and more open than with previous team ups for Daredevil and Black Widow. How does that help you to realize the themes of the arc? How does it inspire your conception of the action, set pieces, and so on of each issue?
Mark Waid: Cap doesn’t live in a dark, foreboding world–or if he runs across it, he provides a light. That’s it in a nutshell.
Marvel.com: What makes this issue a great point to jump on to the book?
Mark Waid: It’s a clean done-in-one story that hits home the ideals for which Captain America stands and what his physical limits are. If you like Steve Rogers on the screen, you’ll love him on the printed page.
Read CAPTAIN AMERICA #695, by Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee, now, and don’t miss part 2 with CAPTAIN AMERICA #696 on December 6!
Mark Waid introduces Cap to Marvel Legacy!
On November 1, a new era begins for the Sentinel of Liberty with CAPTAIN AMERICA #695!
Marvel Legacy rises as writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee reunite in an attempt to restore Steve Rogers’ reputation—though it won’t be an easy task, as they’ve got to shine a shield tarnished by the events of Secret Empire. Back in the action wearing the famous red-white-and-blue, Captain America faces one of his toughest journeys yet—reconstructing his legacy.
How will he tackle the challenge? We caught up with Mark Waid to find out.
Marvel.com: What made CAPTAIN AMERICA the best fit for you—and for a reunited Waid-Samnee team—at this moment in time?
Mark Waid: It’s the best fit for me not only because I love Steve Rogers, but also because I’m smart enough to hang onto Chris Samnee’s coattails whenever possible. We make a good team, and it’s terrific to finally see Chris cut loose on a top-tier Marvel hero.
Marvel.com: How daunting of a task will it be to tell Cap’s story in the wake of Secret Empire? What do you see as the biggest challenge of such an undertaking?
Mark Waid: The biggest challenge will be, of course, restoring his reputation post-Secret Empire—but rather than be too bound to a timeline, our fans have made it clear that they want classic Cap, so we’ll be looking forward more than in the rear-view mirror.
Beyond that, it’s important to Team Cap that we make one thing abundantly clear: while we’re having a blast and giving you a very classic Steve Rogers, Chris and I have been working on these first few issues since March—way in advance of the more volatile political events of the summer. Because of our lead time, he won’t get around to punching Nazis on page one. But it’s coming.
Marvel.com: What does Steve currently see as his biggest hurdle to restoring his rep?
Mark Waid: To “find America,” as it were; to reconnect with a heartland he’s never really spent much time in. Steve claims to represent America and yet spends almost all his time in New York. He wants to change that.
Marvel.com: Do Americans still support him? Do they resent him?
Mark Waid: We’ve built at least a six-month delay from the end of Secret Empire into our first issue, so while there will be dark and shady looks glared his way—and there will be those who don’t trust him—not every issue finds Cap pleading for understanding. In fact, our first issue kind of overcompensates. You’ll see what we mean.
Marvel.com: What about the bad guys? How do they feel about Cap now?
Mark Waid: They feel that maybe they have a better shot at him, not only because he has no Avengers back-up, but because he’s still a little off his pins after Secret Empire.
Marvel.com: What do you foresee as the upcoming adversity for Cap? New threats? Classic threats refreshed? A combination?
Mark Waid: All the above. Kraven couldn’t have been a more perfect call—they’ve never duked it out—and wait until you see the weird, Kirby-by-way-of-Samnee villain showing up in issue #698…
Marvel.com: Can’t wait! One final question to wrap this up: when you first saw a piece of Chris’s artwork for this book, what went through your mind?
Mark Waid: That I should never complain about anything in life ever again.
Start a new chapter with CAPTAIN AMERICA #695, by Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee, on November 1!