Marvel Comics has teased the possibility of the mantle of Captain America once again changing hands. This might seem like an odd course to take, but bare in mind that sales on the solo "Captain America" have fallen once again and Marvel did see considerable critical and financial success when Ed Brubaker had James "Bucky" Barnes take over the mantle from 2007-2011. The press release is a promotional piece to hype the latest arc of the "Captain America" run by Rick Remender, which has seen Steve Rogers spend a great deal of time in "Dimension Z" as well as get the super soldier serum drained from him, reducing him to an elderly state. While Remender and his editors likely consider this deeply innovative, fans with long memories may recall that Mark Gruenwald had a similar thing happen to Rogers during his extended run on the series from 1987-1995; in keeping with the times, Rogers was forced to don shoulder-padded armor for a time because of it.
Newsarama has the scoop as well as their own theory, as taken from Marvel's own solicitation for "Avengers #35" in September. The cover image shows a new team of Avengers, including someone who appears to be Sam Wilson in a costume similar to his film/Ultimate attire carrying Cap's shield. The elderly Rogers is also present. If true, it would be a fine way to jazz up interest in the franchise as well as offer a very progressive storyline; it simply would be a shame if Wilson didn't get to don a costume which was red, white, and blue to match.
It would naturally link up with Marvel's more progressive approach to superhero comics. In recent years the company had their highest profile gay superhero (Northstar) wed, introduced an alternate version of Spider-Man who is mixed race (Miles Morales, in "Ultimate Spider-Man") and are merrily racking up ComiXology sales across the globe with their new Muslim-American teenage version of "Ms. Marvel". An era where their main "Captain America" was a man of color seems to synch in well with that. In terms of corporate synergy, it could indicate Marvel Studios' plans for Anthony Mackie's portrayal of Sam Wilson in film once Chris Evans' completes his contract with them and retires from acting (as the "Captain America" film star has indicated).
"Ant-Man" film to undergo more rewrites!
The pluckiest, or unluckiest, upcoming film in the Marvel Studios calendar continues to fiddle with things before production begins. As a brief recap, director Edgar Wright was attached to the project since 2003-2006, and produced a script alongside frequent collaborator Joe Cornish. As actual production of the film got closer, casting for major roles - such as Paul Rudd as Scott Lang and Michael Douglas as a retired Hank Pym - began. However, at the eleventh hour, Wright left the project citing differences with the studio, and Payton Reed was hired to replace him as director with Adam McKay tasked with rewriting the script. Despite all this, a release date of July 17th, 2015 (barely two months after "Avengers: Age of Ultron") is seen as ironclad.
Now, Deadline hears that another duo of writers are going to take a turn with the script. Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari, who have written "Haunt" and "Die in a Gunfight" have been hired to give "Ant-Man" a third rewrite. This wouldn't be their first comic book property, as the duo were previously hired to write a "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" script for Sony. One imagines with every rewrite, "Ant-Man" gets further away from whatever quirky charm compelled Wright to work on the project for years and closer to what Marvel Studios wants for the only bug themed superhero franchise that they have the film rights for. Considering the clamor for a heroine led super-film as well as the growing complications with this production, it will remain to be seen if forging ahead on "Ant-Man" at all costs instead of simply cutting losses and whipping up a film for "Black Widow" or "Captain Marvel" or even "She-Hulk" will prove to be wise.