Brandon’s intro piece, which I’m sure will be bloody exciting as always
Ambi: The rumor mill is alive with a decidedly negative reaction to this series? Why are people so afraid of The Truth?
Axel:: The first wave of feedback was definitely negative, but that’s par for the course when you announce change of any kind. While the feedback has evened out over the past few weeks, it’s clear this series has inspired quite a reaction.
Many of the folks who, sight unseen, reject the very idea of THE TRUTH suffer from the misconception that Captain America is a static character. That’s bull. Captain America was an icon of American virtue and might during World War II, but in the ’60s, Jack Kirby, Steranko, Gene Colan and Stan Lee had him appropriately questioning that same iconic status. And in the ’70s, Steve Englehart and Sal Buscema cast the Falcon as Cap’s social conscience, a guy who provided Cap with the street-level perspective he needed to stay true to himself. The Civil Rights Movement bubbled beneath the surface of those stories — to their betterment and Cap’s.
The big question, of course, now is who is Cap today? What world does he serve? While John Ney Rieber and John Cassaday are examining that in the monthly series, part of the answer lies where Cap came from? We hope that TRUTH sheds some light on these questions.
Axel:: The first time I heard the words “Black Captain America,” Bill Jemas had inspired some online furor by suggesting that a future Ultimates title might feature an African American Captain America. People went crazy. I found it interesting — even telling — that the very IDEA of an African American Captain America inspired such anger and resentment in some corners. That got me thinking, and a common sense question emerged: Realistically speaking, who would the Super Soldier program have conducted its first tests on?
Now anyone who’s heard the word “Tuskegee” has an inkling who that might have been.
Axel:: TRUTH is not a change in Captain America’s myth as much as it is a deepening of Captain America’s myth. Heroism has as much to do with sacrifice as it does bravery; and TRUTH reveals the terrible sacrifices that led to Steve Rogers’ transformation into the legendary hero.
The folks who assume that this book is going to tarnish the legacy of Steve Rogers should wait until they read it. I fail to see how a full examination of the events that preceded Captain America does anything to tarnish his heroism.
While TRUTH revolves around the inter-linked fates of an ensemble of Black characters, this isn’t only a “Black” story. As Robert [Morales] said in his early notes, “All history is shared history.” TRUTH is not a political tract; it is a piece of fiction that reconciles the origin of an iconic character with real-world events. We’re not going to run from history because it makes some people uncomfortable.
Ambi: How did this project get off the ground? What was the factor that said…Marvel needs to do this a book like this??
Axel:: I was thinking of this project as a STARTLING STORY, and quite frankly, I thought that was going to be a tough sell. But Joe Q and Bill J were immediately intrigued by the series premise and, after an initial meeting with Robert [Morales], they said to go ahead and make it a part of Cap continuity.
Axel:: Since TRUTH observes the backdrop of real history, I thought that it might benefit from a creator who drew upon experience as well as research to shape the story. It just so happened that back when I was at DC/Vertigo, I’d had long discussions with Kyle Baker and Robert Morales about a limited series that had a certain verisimilitude with this project. I knew that this team could bring a level of depth and authenticity to this project that not just anyone could.
Ambi: When the series concludes, will we ever see this new character introduced in The Truth in the modern Marvel Universe in some form?
Axel:: Possibly . . .
Ambi: Tell us something about the mini. That we’re not supposed to know … some shiny exclusive tidbit that will confirm the suspicion that Marvel has gone too far this time??
Axel:: Nice try, bro’.
Ambi: Next year, after the smoke settles and some other “controversial” project is making the rounds, what are people going to say about The Truth? Make a prediction. How is this all going to end?
Axel:: I can’t predict. Some folks will love it, some folks will hate it. It’s our hope that when the story is over, people will understand why we published it. TRUTH is not a political tract; it is a piece of fiction that reconciles the origin of an iconic character with real-world events. We hope that fans read it with a more-or-less open mind, and leave the series mindful of the different worlds we all live in.
One thing we can predict is that DC will copy this idea in some form or other, look they’ve started already…
brandon’s outro piece, more sodding cover scans the get