Earth’s Mightiest Team-Up

Earth's Mightiest Team-Up

By Ben Morse

Captain America’s got a new partner, but if history has taught us anything, this one won’t be taking orders from the Sentinel of Liberty without a question or two.

Captain America & Hawkeye #629 preview art by Alessandro Vitti

Cullen Bunn and Alessandro Vitti launch the re-titled CAPTAIN AMERICA & HAWKEYE #629 on April 25, reuniting two of the most tenured Avengers for an adventure that will put them up against a threat of prehistoric proportions. While much has changed since Clint Barton’s days of rebelling against Steve Rogers’ every word, a camaraderie as well as a friction remains between the heroes that Bunn looks forward to exploring.

“Cap and Hawkeye are really two sides of the same coin,” the writer says. “One is straight-laced and by the book. One has a little more of a fly by the seat of your pants attitude. Both are efficient and effective when it comes to saving the day. Their pairing has the makings for the perfect ‘buddy cop’ adventures—the All-American and the All-American smart-ass.

“They’re friends. They have a lot of respect for each other. But their stylistic differences mean they are going to get under each other’s skins like nobody’s business. Cap wants Hawkeye to take things a little more seriously, while Hawkeye would like to see Cap relax just a bit in the face of peril.”

The Avengers duo will answer a distress call from New Mexico alerting them to a group of environmentalists who have gone missing. However, what seems like a simple search and rescue mission escalates quickly.

“When I originally described this arc, I said something along the lines of ‘Captain America and Hawkeye fight a bunch of dinosaurs,’” Bunn notes. “That was [both] an oversimplification and a bit of misdirection on my part. What they face is much, much worse than just a bunch of dinosaurs. An evil thought long-destroyed is awakening beneath the mountains. It becomes readily apparent that they should have called in [all] the Avengers from the get-go.”

Captain America & Hawkeye #629 preview art by Alessandro Vitti

But for those who just got nervous about lack of Jurassic action in CAPTAIN AMERICA & HAWKEYE, fear not, for there will indeed be dinosaurs, including a classic villain in Stegron.

“I’ve always liked Stegron,” says Bunn. “He’s a fun dinosaur guy with a mad scientist’s brain. More importantly, though, his particular power-set made him a perfect fit for the story I had in mind. This is a strange, creepy adventure for Cap and Hawkeye [and] it’s Stegron who sets everything in motion.

“I’m picking up on some threads that have been in the Marvel Universe since the original MS. MARVEL series with Stegron being the glue that holds them all together. I’ve probably said too much.”

Specifically selected for this opening salvo, Vitti brings artistic tools to the table that will play perfectly in the environment our heroes find themselves in.

“Alessandro has a nice, fluid style that really helps to bring this story to life,” says Bunn. “He injects this sense of chaos and intensity into the action—and I really asked him to draw some wild stuff. He also makes the quiet moments visually interesting. The character and creature designs he put together for this story were really great. When the beasties first appear, there’s a real creepiness factor that Alessandro brought to the book.”

Moving forward, CAPTAIN AMERICA & will continue to give Bunn the opportunity to explore the Marvel Universe with different artists and team various characters with Cap. While the writer may define Steve Rogers by “conviction, integrity, humility and elbow grease,” the series will also display sides of the Star-Spangled Avenger not always seen.

Captain America & Hawkeye #629 preview art by Alessandro Vitti

“On the surface, Cap may be a little too ‘stuffed shirt’ to be versatile, but nothing could be further from the truth,” Bunn insists. “[That] may be the public persona, but Cap is just as human as the next person. He has his moments of doubt, humor, awkwardness and self-reflection.

“In this series, we’re seeing how Cap intersects with other heroes. [His] partners may enter these team-ups with preconceived notions. In some cases, Cap may live up to their expectations. In others, he may surprise them.”

Coming up following the first arc, Cap and Iron Man will embark on an espionage campaign in Madripoor with Batroc’s Brigade providing opposition, and further down the line, an old Invaders ally of Steve Rogers will make an appearance.

“There are story elements in the first arc that will bleed over into the second arc and beyond,” Bunn says. “Each arc will present a new story and a new challenge, but I’m introducing a new character who will be…bothersome for Captain America and his friends.

“I don’t want to say much about her, but keep an eye on Kashmir Vennema. They mystery surrounding her will surface throughout this series.”

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