Treat yourself to this tricky lupine tale!

Every day this month, a new supernatural character or story from the Marvel Universe gets a spooky spotlight leading up to Halloween!

Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers have a lot in common.

Friends and comrades, they both fight for the rights and ideals of all people in their roles as super heroes. Both have worn the mantle of Captain America and slung the shield.

And both have been turned into wolf-men!

The original Capwolf story took place in CAPTAIN AMERICA #402#408 by writer Mark Gruenwald and artist Rik Levins, while Sam experienced something similar in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #3#6.

Captain America (1968) #402

Captain America (1968) #402

  • Published: July 10, 1992
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: June 10, 2013
  • Cover Artist: Rik Levins
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The Wilson series began with more than a little turmoil for the new Cap as he took a stand on issues that his predecessor might’ve remained silent on. Having gone rogue from the supervision of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the U.S. government, Sam restarted the legendary Captain America hotline, which allowed citizens to contact him directly. Though the line largely got flooded with nonsense, Wilson did hear about some trouble with the Sons of the Serpent in Arizona.

When he looked into the matter, Cap discovered the Sons kidnapping immigrants and selling them to a mystery man in New York City. As the case unraveled, Sam discovered the anonymous buyer to be Dr. Karl Malus.

In CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #3, the Star-Spangled Avenger made his move, ambushing the Doctor at his secret lab. Wilson expected to arrest the criminal with relative ease, though, upon arrival, he encountered a symbiote-enhanced Malus, who knocked the hero unconscious. While in this state, the Doctor used Cap in another twisted experiment—and turned Sam Wilson into a half-wolf, half-man!

Captain America: Sam Wilson (2015) #3

Captain America: Sam Wilson (2015) #3

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Now a lupine beast, Sam escaped before teaming up with Misty Knight to confront the mad scientist once more. Though this time, Malus had gathered an army of human-animal hybrids to enter the fight on his behalf! Despite the challenge, Capwolf and Misty managed to subdue Dr. Malus before turning him over to the authorities. The villain got his due, but Cap remained in his doglike state.

The following issue, Wilson’s enhanced sense of smell, wolfish temper, and tendency to dine from trash cans proved difficult for the hero to contain—and often made life difficult given his already-rocky reputation with the public.

The condition continued for Cap over the next several issues, even as he came head-to-head with Steve’s old flame Diamondback and fought the newly formed Serpent Solutions. Eventually, however, Sam Wilson returned to his usual form—as Cap, no longer Capwolf.

Fright Fact

In another thread of this story, Dr. Malus wove the DNA of Sam’s avian companion Redwing into the body of a young man named Joaquin Torres. Torres emerged from the process as a bird man, though utilized his hybrid condition for good, taking on the Falcon mantle. Redwing’s innate healing ability, though, meant that—unlike Cap’s hybridity—Joaquin would never revert back to his initial form.

Redwing, Sam’s longtime partner in the skies, actually had another monstrous encounter in ALL-NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA #5. In that issue, Baron Blood bit the bird, seemingly killing him. This proved to be misleading, however, as in the next issue, Redwing emerged anew—as a vampire falcon!

Tomorrow, witness cosmic power go up against the demonry of Mephisto in the pages of SILVER SURFER!

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The sentient Cosmic Cube begins to understand her role in Secret Empire.

Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!

It all started with a Cosmic Cube who believed it was a person. That’s the basic truth behind the events of Secret Empire, though far from the full story.

Kobik’s origins reach back to her first mention in MARVEL NOW! POINT ONE #1, though readers didn’t get a full look at her until AVENGERS STANDOFF: WELCOME TO PLEASANT HILL #1. In that crossover, we learned that Maria Hill put a plan into place that would use parts of a Cosmic Cube to re-write villains’ memories so that they would fit in nice and happy in a small town dubbed Pleasant Hill. 

Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill (2016) #1

Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill (2016) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

In AVENGERS STANDOFF ASSAULT ON PLEASANT HILL ALPHA #1, Kobik’s origins were revealed. Initially, S.H.I.E.L.D. intended to use pieces of a smashed Cube to make their jail a reality, but the chunks joined together to create a kid named Kobik. That, of course, didn’t stop Hill and company from using her to achieve their goal anyway.

The Cosmic Cube prison idea started making the rounds in public early on in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON, though it took Rich Jones’ work as the super-hacker Whisperer to get the word out Pleasant Hill. Jones actions lead to heroes like Wilson, Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes and eventually the rest of the Avengers to make a move on the prison as Baron Zemo and other baddies started regaining their memories.

During the conflagration, the then-old Steve Rogers found himself returned to his more youthful status thanks to a run-in with Crossbones that lead to him needing some healing from Kobik.

What no one knew at that time was that Red Skull had been influencing Kobik from the beginning. Upon gaining sentience, she desired to meet someone who loved her and no one loved their old Cosmic Cube like the Skull. Through their interactions, the Hydra leader indoctrinated the young woman in his ways of hate, even teaching her completely false news-laced history.

Even worse, Skull essentially programmed Kobik to not just rejuvenate Steve Rogers, but implant a series of false memories that lead to his “Hail Hydra” shocker in CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #1 and everything that lead up through this week’s SECRET EMPIRE #9

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016) #1

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

After Standoff, Kobik spent time with Bucky Barnes in the Thunderbolts as well as some of the former villain pals she made in Pleasant Hill. She even went so far as to attempt to rewrite Bucky’s past to make him a Hydra agent, but he rebuked the very notion. When Bucky attempted to explain the reality of Hydra to Kobik, she flipped her wig and nearly destroyed everything in existence until Fixer blasted her, shattering her into the Cosmic Cube fragments.

The heroes have been looking for these pieces since Secret Empire began, but as we learned this week, Hydra attained all but one which lead to the souped-up version of Rogers seen at the end of the issue.

However, a glimmer of hope exists within Kobik herself. Another reveal in #9 came when Steve Rogers realized that he had been existing in a kind of ghost world inside her mind. Having regained much of himself, he seemed ready to jump back into the battle, assuming he could get his hands on a body, of course!

The Empire Strikes Back

If you’re wondering which of the many Cosmic Cubes used by Red Skull resulted in Kobik’s strange relationship with the madman, look no further than Mark Waid’s run on CAPTAIN AMERICA with Ron Garney which ran from CAPTAIN AMERICA #444448. Though presumed dead thanks to the Super Soldier Serum turning on him, Rogers soon woke up to the sight of the long-thought-dead Sharon Carter and the Red Skull. All three had to team up to save their own skins – reality itself – from a Hitler-infused Cosmic Cube. Upon succeeding in that task, the Skull gained control of the Cube itself and did some of his own historical re-writing, but Rogers broke free and used his shield to shatter the Cosmic Cube, slice off the Skull’s arm and blowing everything up. That seemed the end of that particular Cube until Red Skull revealed the true history in CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #2

Captain America (1968) #444

Captain America (1968) #444

What is Marvel Unlimited?

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The former Cap makes a comeback and we look five other such revivals!

Sam Wilson takes up shield-slinging once more in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #24, out July 26, and if history’s any guide, for better or worse, it’s gonna be one heckuva party.

Don’t believe us, True Believers? Check out these other cataclysmic comebacks throughout the Marvel Universe:

Avengers (1963) #4

Avengers (1963) #4

  • Published: March 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The granddaddy of all riotous returns! The Avengers found World War II’s greatest champion frozen in ice and thawed him out to take his rightful place among their ranks. Does it get more epic than the original Captain America fighting alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes versus the Hulk and the Sub-Mariner? We think not!

Iron Man (1968) #200

Iron Man (1968) #200

What is Marvel Unlimited?

After a long bout with the bottle, Tony Stark drove out his demons to take up the role of Iron Man once more and take back his life. This being Stark, of course he created new armor and new gadgets for his big reappearance, but hey, he needed everything he could to stack the deck against one of his greatest personal enemies: Obadiah Stane, aka Iron Monger!

X-Factor (1986) #1

X-Factor (1986) #1

  • Published: February 10, 1986
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: October 29, 2008
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The original five X-Men, together again! When Jean Grey, the former Marvel Girl, returned to the land of the living, Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, and Beast knew it was destiny—or fate—that they’d get the band back together and take the act out on the road. Jean’s idea of a new team focused on a more pro-active role to protect mutants, but some new baddies called the X-Terminators insured the reunion wouldn’t be a happy one.

Incredible Hulk (1962) #372

Incredible Hulk (1962) #372

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Bruce Banner hit rock bottom with his life, his wife, and just about everything he held dear, but at least the old Hulk seemed to be gone forever. Well, a nasty piece of work named Prometheus kept hounding Banner to the point of panic, and when that occurred, the savage green giant we all know and love returned in full force—and yeah, it didn’t go too well for Prometheus!

Thor (1966) #457

Thor (1966) #457

  • Published: January 10, 1993
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 29, 2013
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Lo, the favorite son of Asgard returneth! Banished from the fabled realm for seemingly killing his half-brother Loki, Thor witnessed his replacement, Eric Masterson, struggle with the job until the point of collapse. Taking up the hammer once more, the mighty warrior blew away the dark clouds to show everybody just who brings the thunder!

Welcome back home the conquering hero in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #24 by Nick Spencer and Joe Bennett!

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Catching up on the hero’s history in time for his appearance in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON

On January 4, the youngest Avenger ever, Rage, will team up with the new Falcon in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #17.

We know what you might be thinking. How can he be the youngest Avenger? He looks mid to late 20s at the youngest! True enough, but as with many things about Rage, one must dig deeper to learn the truth.

With that in mind, we walk you through Rage’s history to help you look past his code-name and his age.


One day, 13 year old Elvin Halliday finished basketball practice and headed home, as he had done most days that year. This day, however, before he could make it home, a seeming tragedy befell him. Exposed to toxic waste, Halliday became horribly ill, as one would expect. Sent to his grandmother’s to convalesce Halliday quickly showed, however, that his reaction to toxic waste could not be considered at all expected.

In place of a wasting disease that slowly robbed him of life, the teen became stronger and stronger, appearing to grow up before everyone’s very eyes. Before long, he looked like a full grown adult at the height of physical fitness and nothing like the 13 year old he truly was.


Fully recovered and officially calling himself Rage, Halliday announced himself to the world by banging on the door of Avengers Mansion and demanding he be made a member. When the Avengers—particularly Captain America– pushed back at what they viewed as arrogance and presumptuousness, Rage refused to be cowed.

Instead, he pointed out that their lack of diversity given their nearly complete absence of heroes of color and called on them to consider why that might be. Months later, the team came around and tapped Rage for membership.


Given his appearance, no one with the Avengers even considered to ask Rage his age and he seemed more than happy to leave them in the dark about it. For a time, this deception by omission went unchecked. Then Hate-Monger began to stir racial hatred in the population, forcing the New Warriors and Avengers to combined their efforts to repel the white supremacist.

While the teams proved successful, in the fight Rage’s true age became known. Feeling as if he had no choice, Cap demoted Rage to trainee.


Unfortunately, his separation from the team did not stop there. Aiding his friends in the New Warriors, Rage helped the teen team secure a Quinjet without approval. A less than good choice in the first place, things rapidly got worse when the villain team the Folding Circle stole the jet from the Warriors. In the resulting fallout, Rage ended up fully fired from the Avengers and taking a punch from Hercules. Halliday immediately joined the New Warriors full time in response.


In the New Warriors, Rage found an extended super hero family that made him feel included in a way the Avengers never did. Unfortunately, his time with the team quickly turned tragic. Over the years, Rage would see his grandmother killed in front of him, be accused of the murder of one of the members of the gang that murdered her, be fired from the team for not being available to help when teammate Namorita got abducted, and then be reinstated just to watch the team slowly drift apart until his mentor, friend, and surrogate brother Night Thrasher no choice but to officially disband the squad.


After a time of intermittent super hero acts, Rage joins with the Initiative in the wake of CIVIL WAR. Despite being a former Avenger and one of the most experienced recruits at the game, Rage finds himself the frequent target of abuse by their instructor Gauntlet for, amongst other things, his former membership in the New Warriors. Gauntlet never lets up and apparently had planned to drum Rage out of the camp and have Halliday stripped of his powers until a violent incident left Gauntlet in a coma, his attacker unknown.


Most recently, Rage demonstrated that although he has been a hero for some time now, he remains just as unable as ever to keep his mouth shut when it comes to heroes of color and people in need. This time Steve Rogers did not have to be the one getting the earful. Instead, Sam Wilson ended up on the receiving end of a Rage monologue. Disappointed in Wilson, in Halliday’s opinion, being overly concerned about his reputation and not concerned enough with the opportunity to do good he had been given, Rage called him on the carpet for it.

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The artist shows off his work as a pair of patriotic heroes dive in to post-Civil War II action!

Civil War II will surely end with a bang, but it also sets the stage for the next act in Sam Wilson’s life. On October 19, CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #14 by Nick Spencer and Paul Renaud will not only kick off the “Take Back the Shield” storyline, but also bring back the nation-hating Flag-Smasher and team Sam up with his one-time partner and fellow Captain America, Steve Rogers.

As anyone who’s read, well, anything over the past few months knows, this ain’t your granddad’s Cap. Spencer revealed over in CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS that The Red Skull completely rewrote the original Sentinel of Liberty’s reality so that he’d been a secret Hydra agent going way back to childhood.

However, this remain a big secret in the overall Marvel Universe. So it will come as a huge surprise to Sam when Spencer and Renaud reveal Steve’s plans for the former Falcon in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #14. We talked with Renaud about returning to the series, bringing Flag-Smasher with him, and the big reveal that drives this story! You’re coming back to SAM WILSON in the wake of his involvement in Civil War II. From your perspective, has the event changed Sam?

Paul Renaud: I like how it made no difference in his life. I mean, no matter what his position is, how heroic he gets, how big his role in the Avengers is, he will still have to deal with a massive rejection from the “NOT MY CAP” people.

That being said, I love how Sam takes strong positions as an Avenger or in Civil War II. It shows he’s not afraid to be his own Captain America. If anything, I think [the event] strengthened his take as Cap and showed he’s not a second rate Steve. Speaking of Steve, I know from our last talk that you’re a big fan of drawing the character. He’s in this one as well, but he’s got a lot going on in his own book. Does that change how you approach him on the page?

Paul Renaud: It does change my approach knowing that Steve is secretly working for Hydra. Red Skull rewrote his life, and he’s totally sincere about those beliefs. The Hydra reveal was everywhere in the news and online, so my concern was to make sure new readers would understand immediately that Steve is still undercover and the Marvel Universe does not know he’s Hydra. He has to be extra charming and friendly so that one can understand that in a glimpse. Of course, he’d have to be particularly smooth, especially if you consider what he has in store for Sam—which is our big finale in this issue.

I’m an old Steve Rogers fan, old enough to have seen the character go through twists like that before in the grand Marvel tradition. I’m enjoying the ride, and can’t wait to see what Nick is coming up with. Flag-Smasher makes his reappearance in “Take Back the Shield.” Did you have a hand in redesigning his costume?

Paul Renaud: Yes, Nick asked me to redesign him and modernize him a bit. The game is to stay faithful enough to the original design to make him look recognizable, while realist enough for the new readers. I gave him a reinforced suit, and a whole military look to match with the terrible things you’ll see him do in that issue. In addition to the return of the classic Cap villain, what can you tell us about the challenges Sam faces in this story?

Paul Renaud: Sam and Steve have to deal with a hostage situation, and Sam [has] to rescue the law-and-order/anti-immigration senator Tom Herald that just made his life miserable for the few past issues.

I don’t think Sam has ever been into anything like that before, as we see Flag-Smasher and the Ultimatum soldiers going very dark. I was surprised to see how dark Nick went when writing this issue. I had to read certain parts twice just to be sure those things were really happening. I think Nick wrote a very powerful issue, and I can’t wait to read the consequences.

This is a very traumatic issue for Sam. We also reveal Steve’s plans concerning Sam. You’ve drawn SAM WILSON based on Nick Spencer scripts a few times before. Do you feel like you’ve gained a better understanding of the character through these collaborations?

Paul Renaud: I’ve drawn Sam as the Falcon when Rick Remender was writing [CAPTAIN AMERICA], and more recently with Nick on [this] series. It’s really great to be able to follow a character through such a big development.

I think what makes Sam a great Captain America is that he’s not entirely sold on the idea of being Captain America. He could do without. But he does know that it will help him, and spotlight his fight against inequalities, his fight for the little guy, for the forgotten ones. Once again, it’s a matter of responsibility, which is a strong theme for any good Marvel hero. While Bucky carried the shield mostly to honor the memory of his friend and mentor, Sam’s goal is very different. There’s no point in being Cap if he can’t use it for what he believes in. We’ve seen how that made him more enemies than friends, and I know this issue will have terrible consequences in his life.

Nick Spencer and Paul Renaud reveal Steve Rogers’ plans for his former partner in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #14 on October 19!

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The all-new, all-different Cap gets his start!

Every day we celebrate Captain America’s 75th anniversary by looking deep into the Marvel Unlimited archives and going through some of Steve Rogers’ most thrilling adventures. Happy diamond anniversary Sentinel of Liberty!

As the reality-warping Secret Wars came to its epic conclusion, many wondered about Captain America’s status in the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe. As it turned out, writer Nick Spencer had big plans for the whole franchise, but the first book out of the gate, CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON, clearly established the former Falcon as the patriotic hero.

Joined by artists like Daniel Acuña and Paul Renaud, Spencer reintroduces the winged warrior to the world by showing major differences his predecessor. While Steve Rogers refused to take part in most political discussions, Sam decides to get right in there and let his opinions be known to the world, which leads to some discord among the people he dedicates himself to protecting.

In the first four issues, Spencer puts Sam through the ringer by pitting him against Hydra goons, Crossbones, the Sons of the Serpent and even his former mentor, Steve Rogers. Wilson’s actions also lead to a severing of ties with S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as into the clutches of mad scientist and known Super-Soldier Serum devotee Dr. Karl Malus who turns our hero into the next generation of Cap Wolf!

Luckily for him, Sam’s partner and girlfriend Misty Knight comes to his rescue. The two of them head off to take on Malus, who harbors a pair of devious secrets. First, he’s got a small army of animal-human hybrids at his disposal; second, he now possesses symbiote-like abilities after being consumed by one in SUPERIOR CARNAGE #5.

Captain America: Sam Wilson (2015) #1

Captain America: Sam Wilson (2015) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Though Sam and Misty put down the villain and his hybrids, they come to discover that Malus used the vampiric Redwing to turn a young man named Joaquin Torres into a human-falcon combination who will not revert back to his original form. All of this leads to the reveal that the Serpent Society re-branded itself as a business called Serpent Solutions that plans on selling science derived from villains to various corporations as a way to make big bucks.

In an attempt to wrap his mind about what he’s up against, Sam meets up with former Serpent Society member turned hero and Steve Rogers’ one-time girlfriend Diamondback, a meeting that goes about as far away from planned as possible.

Though only the first four issues of CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON appear currently on Marvel Unlimited at this point, they offer not just a great look at the current state of the Star-Spangled Avenger, but also Spencer’s love for Cap’s long history as the series features more than a handful of familiar faces from the past 75 years!

Cap Declassified

Spencer’s first few issues of CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON tease the eventual events in Avengers: Standoff, including the creation of Kobik, a child with Cosmic Cube-derived abilities to turn super criminals into regular people. Word of the S.H.I.E.L.D. project gets leaked and talked about in these issues, but the true nature remains a mystery. This of course leads to the events in Pleasant Hill where Kobik eventually turns Steve Rogers back into a young man, but not without re-writing reality to the point where the Star-Spangled Avenger pledges his allegiance to Hydra as seen in the pages of Spencer and Jesus Saiz’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #1 and #2.

Next, witness the final days of the world’s most formidable super team in AVENGERS #400-402 by Mark Waid, Mike Wieringo, Mike Deodato Jr. and Tom Palmer.

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Nick Spencer reveals Sam's side, plus much more!

Civil War II continues to invade the lives of your favorite Marvel Universe heroes, including Sam Wilson, one of two men who now wear the mantle of Captain America. In CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #10, out June 22, writer Nick Spencer’s poised to drop a bomb on Sam and force him to address both sides as well as his personal feelings in the latest super hero standoff. Nick, overall, how would you describe Sam’s role in Civil War II? Will he be choosing a side?

Nick Spencer: Sam does choose a side pretty early on. We’ve already seen him on some of the teasers on Tony’s side. We’ll cover it pretty quickly in our first tie-in, but it’s not a tough decision for Sam. What is a little more difficult for him isn’t so much his position as much as just having to take a side in another controversial issue. Sam’s been mired in controversy throughout his career as Cap. So that’s really the thorny part for him. What about Sam’s personal life? What will his frustration level rise to?

Nick Spencer: Sam’s frustration level is just shooting steadily up. Life is getting tougher for him and a lot of doors are closing. That is, of course, creating some tension within the group. He’s getting pulled in a lot of different directions. Sam is trying to learn how to compromise more. He’s trying to learn how to set his priorities. But a lot of the folks that surround him are true believers, and they have the same fight, so he’s in a tricky place. Sam is called upon to honor a fallen hero in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #10. What can you say about why he’s called and how he will do this?

Nick Spencer: Well, that story is really about—in addition to paying tribute to the fallen hero—is Sam revealing what the role of Captain America entails. It’s not just another super hero gig. There are situations, happenings, where folks look to somebody who carries that shield. In large part it’s a story about that. It’s got Sam confronting some parts of the job that he hadn’t needed to as much, earlier on.

Captain America: Sam Wilson (2015) #10

Captain America: Sam Wilson (2015) #10

What is Marvel Unlimited? His relationship with Steve Rogers had gotten a little frosty, and then come back around in the wake of Standoff. How does Civil War II impact that relationship?

Nick Spencer: Well, Steve casts a big shadow. Steve being back in the job is going to be a source of insecurity for Sam. It’s going to cause him to question his own decisions a lot more. That was a big part of the fun in bringing Steve back, was that we were already telling stories about how different Sam was as Cap, but now he’d get it on a day-to-day basis. This arc is really about kind of exploring that. Sam is second-guessing himself a lot with Steve being back and questioning whether or not the country really needs two Captain Americas. You mentioned before that Sam is basically living his life in the public, making decisions not everyone agrees with. What kind of reactions to him might we expect from the public during this event?

Nick Spencer: Sam has always had a public approval problem. It’s only going to get worse. For a lot of folks on the ground in the Marvel Universe, they really don’t understand why Sam is continuing to be Cap. They didn’t particularly love him having the job in the first place, and now that Steve Rogers is out there, they really don’t get why he’s still around. So for Sam’s pretty large, rather loud opposition, they’ve got a new and I think stronger case against him. And finally, what guest stars will we see in the SAM WILSON during this tie-in time?

Nick Spencer: Well you’ll definitely see, in the first chapters, Tony Stark and Carol Danvers pop up in our first tie-in. And our second tie-in—I don’t really want to say who’ll be there. But it’s definitely full of very high-profile guest stars.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #10 by Nick Spencer and Angel Unzueta embeds our hero in Civil War II on June 22!

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Three Sentinels of Liberty join forces as one artist brings them together!

Sometimes you need more than one Captain America to get the job done.

That’s the case with Avengers: Standoff! tie-in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #8 written by Nick Spencer and drawn by guest artist Paul Renaud. The title star not only teams with Steve Rogers, but also Bucky Barnes to help bring the event to its penultimate chapter.

No stranger to the book, Renaud drew issues #4 and #5 of the series previously. However this marks the first time he penciled all three Captain Americas in one place. Thanks to a strong personal connection to the character, Renaud treated the creation of this issue like an honor.

The artist talks to us about his love of the Star Spangled Avenger, the joys of working on a crossover and the differences between how each Cap carries himself. This issue features not one, but three men who have gone by the name Captain America. Costumes and physical characteristics aside, how do they differ from a composition and physicality standpoint?

Paul Renaud: Steve has to be more imposing and muscular because of the Super Soldier Serum, and in many ways it also defines his body language, his stance. He has to be a little above us, just a bit better than any of us. To impact that notion on the reader, you want to show how things like fights and acrobatics come just a little easier for him. He should be more comfortable, somewhat detached. He doesn’t have to give 100% in everything like Sam and Bucky do. He’ll be always standing tall, and rested.

Bucky is an amazing, skilled fighter, so his fighting should show a little more technique to it and take advantage of his prosthetic arm to even the fight against powerful opponents. Other than that, he’s more a shadowy character, still the undercover agent in many ways. So his body language—and how you compose your panels—should show he’s not comfortable being in the center.

Sam is the most interesting in my opinion, because he’s not a meta-human, and not a skilled fighting machine. He’s just giving 110%, all the time and it takes its toll. So I portrayed him just a tiny bit tired in the way he stands. [On] a subconscious level, the reader will pick up those details. They see a man pushed to his limits, and overcoming them when danger occurs. That makes him even more a hero. As part of Avengers: Standoff, this issue must have had a lot of moving parts from new characters to story elements carried over from other books. Did your process vary much given those added details?

Paul Renaud: It wasn’t really a problem because everyone was working as a team. It must have been harder for editorial to organize all this than it was for me. [Editors] Tom Brevoort and Alanna Smith made it easy for me by providing all I needed in time so I could just focus on doing the best job possible. It’s not their first rodeo!

I started with the pages other creative teams on other books needed, and got to design the stuff that would be used beforehand so that everybody was on the same page. I also became friends with Daniel Acuna, the main artist on [CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON], and it was a great help to be able to exchange pages at any stage to keep in sync. We’re both very aware it’s a team effort. The book is what matters. This issue looks to be packed with characters. Were there any particular ones you geeked out over being able to draw?

Paul Renaud: I won’t be original, but Steve has to be my favorite. I grew up looking up to him as a big brother figure of a hero, a positive force. At the risk of sounding corny, it always fills my heart with so much joy when I have to draw him. I’m very thankful for what the character brought to me when I needed it as a kid. It’s that shield. I think every bullied kid will understand what I’m talking about. It’s a powerful symbol. So I take it very seriously to honor that feeling in each and every panel. I will always geek out drawing Steve. You’ve worked with Nick Spencer a handful of times before this, including earlier issues of this series. How has your collaborative relationship evolved in that time?

Paul Renaud: We’ve done a couple of Sam/Cap issues together prior to this, yeah. I went from “Capwolf, really?” to “Spencer is a genius!” in a matter of days. I wasn’t thrilled at first when I got the job because I didn’t get the concept behind the book. Then came the first issue by Nick and Daniel, and I had to mentally apologize because I had not liked a book like this in a long while.

He really sold me on the idea of Sam/Cap, and the way he used real world reactions to Sam being Cap inside the book is hysterical. It was a very clever move. It made the book compelling and funny as hell. I liked those first issues so much; it really made it a joyride. Working with Nick is very gratifying because he will take advantage of the artists’ strengths and maximize them, improving the jokes or emotions afterwards based on the body-language and little storytelling devices. He doesn’t have to do it. He just want to because he cares for the book, and he’s respectful for what the artist brings, and I think it got very mutual. When you go into a Nick Spencer script, are there certain things you now know to look for from a storytelling or design standpoint?

Paul Renaud: Well, after I’m finished laughing at the silly jokes, there’s always the fight sequences for which Nick now gives me as much freedom as I want. He knows I care for the story, and will always try to bring as much storytelling required to fights. As I told before, the way a character moves and fights is a great help defining who he/she is.

I also take very seriously those long monologues Nick can have characters deliver. You have to make sure your actors deliver lines right, because he’s writing meaningful, defining bits each time. It’s a bit demanding to deal with—and I guess to read sometimes if the artist just goes with talking heads—but worth every bit, like good writers do. So my job is to make sure the storytelling stays alive, and those dialogues hit their mark. We also share the same sense of ridicule, so I’m always welcoming those silly things we try, like the Kraven scene in issue #8.

To see what else Nick Spencer and Paul Renaud have in store for Sam, Steve and Bucky check out the Avengers: Standoff! tie-in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #8 on May 4.

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Superstar creators unite to celebrate the Sentinel of Liberty!

Exploding onto the scene in 1941 with a punch that would reverberate through history, Captain America would go on to become an icon and one of the most influential comic book characters ever created. This March, celebrate his 75th Anniversary and the legacy of what it means to be Captain America with the oversized CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #7, a giant 80 page issue commemorating the past, present and future of the Sentinel of Liberty!

First, blockbuster creators Nick Spencer and Daniel Acuna bring you a cataclysmic tie-in to AVENGERS: STANDOFF! Since World War II, someone has always been there to don the red, white and blue and wield the shield. When Steve Rogers fell, his brother in arms, Bucky Barnes picked it up and carried the weight. When it was his time to rest, Sam Wilson would take up the mantle. But now, amidst the chaos and the carnage, Steve will be asked to pick up the shield once more. Be there as this issue paves the way for Steve’s return and the upcoming CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS!

But that’s just the beginning!
CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #7 also features some of the most celebrated creators in the industry paying homage to the history of the Sentinel of Liberty! First, Tim Sale takes you deep behind enemy lines as Captain America embarks on a dangerous infiltration mission into the heart of the enemy stronghold. Then Greg Rucka and Mike Perkins bring you a team up in the Might Marvel Manner as Captain America and Black Widow join forces for a mission that requires the ultimate coordination. Finally, superstar creators Joss Whedon and John Cassaday unite for the first time since their celebrated ASTONISHING X-MEN series to chronicle the origins of Captain America’s greatest weapon!

This issue also features a bevy of variant covers from the biggest names in comics – including
Alex Ross, John Cassaday and Chris Sprouse! Plus, after decades away, legendary artist Jim Steranko returns to the Marvel Universe for the first in an exciting set of variant covers running throughout 2016!

Be there for a look back at 75 years of Captain America and a look forward to the next 75 years. No fan can afford to miss out on one of the biggest issues of the year when CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #7 comes to comic shops and digital devices this March!

Cover by ALEX ROSS
Variant Covers by ALEX ROSS (JAN160779), JOHN CASSADAY (JAN160780) and JIM STERANKO (JAN160781)
Captain America of All Eras Variant by CHRIS SPROUSE (JAN160783)
Women of Power Variant by NEN CHANcG (JAN160782)
FOC – 03/07/16, On-Sale – 03/30/16

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The director of the Avengers films returns to comics for a reunion with artist John Cassaday chronicling a pivotal Cap story!

For the past several years, Joss Whedon has been one of the key creative forces in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but as part of the celebration for Captain America’s 75th anniversary, he’ll be returning to the comics page for a special story starring Steve Rogers.

Whedon reunites with ASTONISHING X-MEN collaborator John Cassaday on an eight-page story set to appear in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #7 on March 30. We spoke to the creative visionary about what brought him back to comics, working with Cassaday, why he loves Cap in World War II, and more. How did you get drawn back to comics this time? Obviously it’s a medium that you’ve worked in a bit, but not your regular cup of tea.

Joss Whedon: Well, it’s Cassaday of course. Cass was like, do you wanna do this? And you know eight pages is not a lifetime commitment and Cass and I both share the same [affection] for WWII era Cap. I’ve been on a break for a long time and it seemed like a perfect way back into start writing again. [With] Cassaday it’s like working with one of your favorite actors: you know you don’t have to tell them that much he just gets it. You mention the appeal of WWII Captain America and I think that’s something that a lot of people share. I think it’s a unique aspect of the character. What is it about that era and placing the character in that time that made it appealing for you?

Joss Whedon: You know it’s always a chance to look at the definition of a hero and the way that it changed and [the] definition of masculinity and the way that’s changed and you know the idea of a guy working with a platoon in the middle of a war zone where there is civilians; you get this feeling of selfless commodity that’s a lot different than just beating up the bad guy or shooting him. Obviously Captain America has changed a lot, he’s evolved a lot. What do you think it is about the character that keeps him relevant to readers and to fans for 75 years?

Joss Whedon: I think it’s been a difficult journey. I think there were times when writers were struggling because you see [Cap] as old fashioned. But I think that his presence is always a comment on the times whether or not it’s because he is of them or because he doesn’t fit in them and particularly now as it’s further on from that era and we look back at it with some unwarranted nostalgia but also with a clearer eye to what it is we had that we have lost. This is the first time you’ve written the comics Cap, right?

Joss Whedon: The comics Cap, yes. This is the first I worked on the first Captain America film. How’s it different working on the comics Cap even for a brief period from the cinematic Cap or do you just approach it the same?

Joss Whedon: It’s not that different. It’s the first think I did when I got the Avengers [film] gig was write just scans of pages of arguments between Captain America and Iron Man, just sort of laying out who their characters were by how they couldn’t stand each other. His character was my sort of lynchpin [for] the Avengers because [of what] I wanted to say about how people have changed and we’ve gone through a world that values Steve Rogers to a world that values Tony Stark. [Tony is] rich, he’s obnoxious, and he thinks he can solve all the problems and will die if people stop paying attention to him. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Tony’s a dream to write and Robert [Downey Jr.’s] amazing at it, but Cap contains a kind of assertive squareness that I think we legitimately missed.

Captain America: Sam Wilson #7 preview art by John Cassaday

Captain America: Sam Wilson #7 preview art by John Cassaday You talked about working with John and how it’s like working with one of your favorite actors and he was able to get you back; what are the things that John does better than so many other people that set him apart?

Joss Whedon: For me he’s got just an absolute clarity of frame. His storytelling is very beautiful and at the same time [has] a deep complexity of serious human emotion. He manages to the find humanity as somebody and I wish I could give credit to the person who said it, they said “he doesn’t draw muscles; he draws people in clothing, people in their environments.” There’s just a reality to the textures that is very compelling. There’s something special about working with John not just on anything, but on Captain America where he kinda made his mark. I was wondering if you could speak to that for a second here.

Joss Whedon: Well yeah, I mean I associate Johnny with Cap probably more than any other character certainly in the [Marvel Cinematic Universe]. I know he redesigned the outfit and he kind of was the guy who brought Cap back into the main view. Johnny’s work has always got that timeless time hopping quality. And so Cap and specifically WWII Cap, when you have Johnny wanting to throw that down for eight pages it’s impossible not to answer the call and quite frankly, you can tell that I kept my mouth shut, and I worked out the story but I did not realize that I wasn’t going to put any dialogue in the bulk of the action scene because the more I wrote the more I was like, “um Johnny explains everything, I don’t have to.” Without giving too much away of the story, you chose to focus on one kind of iconic aspect of Captain America and subverted it a little bit. Why did you choose to do that?

Joss Whedon: I had had a very big concept years ago that I desperately wanted to do which actually was a crossover with Captain America and Jenny Sparks from the Authority. It was about Captain America early in his career learning about the history of America, what’s good and bad about how this country was formed and how that’s reflected in Europe and so he didn’t have this jingoistic bad view of Europe and so the point that’s made in the little piece that we do here is how I wanted to end that which is him realizing what his purpose is and it’s not you know to hit people.

Pick up the extra-sized CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #7, featuring a special eight-page story from Joss Whedon and John Cassaday, on March 30!

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