J. Michael Straczynski is best known to Marvel fans for iconic (and occasionally controversial) runs on titles like The Amazing Spider-Man and Thor. Now the writer has his sights set on Marvel’s star-spangled avenger, as the publisher has announced that Straczynski and artist Jesús Saiz will launch a new Captain America ongoing series later this year.

Here’s how Marvel describes Straczynski and Saiz’s forthcoming Cap run:

Decades ago, Steve Rogers changed the world forever. Now powerful and insidious forces are assembling to ensure he never does it again. Past, present and future collide as the man out of time reckons with an existential threat determined to set the world on a darker path at any cost…

The new series will be Straczynski’s first solo go at Captain America, though the writer has brushed up against the character in the past with tie-ins to 2005’s Civil War storyline in Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four. For artist Saiz, it’s a return to the character following his run on the series with writer Nick Spencer in 2016-2017. The artist has since worked on books including Doctor Strange (with Mark Waid) and The Punisher (with Jason Aaron).

In an interview with io9 announcing the run, Straczynski described delving into a period of Steve Rogers’s life that’s been largely unexplored: his pre-WWII youth.

“One thing about Steve Rogers that’s never really been addressed is the period between when his parents died, and when he became Captain America. We’re talking about a sickly, skinny 17 year old kid, trying to survive on his own for because he’s stubborn and independent, on the street for several years, hustling for any gig he can get, even if it’s bigger than he is, trying to afford food and a place to stay. So we will counterpoint a present-tense story in which Captain America faces off against a new villain of supernatural origin, with a story about his younger self, with both stories tightly interwoven.

“Because there’s one other, key aspect to that period that we will be addressing. The years young Steve was on his own were the same years during which the American Bund – for all intents and purposes the Nazi Party in America – was growing very powerful in real world New York, blocks from where he lived. They held public marches and rallies, harassed people, and spread hate, all part of an effort to get America on the side of the Nazis, a campaign that came to a head with the biggest Nazi rally on American soil in history, as tens of thousands of people, Nazis and Nazi sympathizers, crammed into Madison Square Garden to celebrate their dream of a thousand-year Reich.

“We are going to put young Steve right into the middle of that real-life vortex, where despite terrible odds he will make a crucial difference at an even more crucial moment. For a young Peter Parker, the murder of his uncle Ben was a transformational event putting him on the path to becoming Spider-Man. This story will be equally transformational, putting a young Steve Rogers on the path to being the hero he eventually becomes.”

At a time in the United States when white nationalism has become perhaps more mainstream than it’s ever been, the storyline Straczynski has in mind for the series sounds incredibly timely. Look for Straczynski & Saiz’s Captain America #1 to arrive in stores and digitally on Wednesday, September 20th.


  1. I see this as a sign the WGA strike is lasting a while. As The Beat and others noted, the last time the WGA went on strike, many of them started to get gigs at comic publishers (or even self publish creator owned stuff) since that wasn’t seen as breaking the ranks of the union. The pay is a lot lower than TV/film writing, but some dough is better than none. And Marvel and DC are always keen to get these big names on books.

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