It's been 15 years since the conclusion of Marvel Comics' Civil War (opens in new tab) event that pitted Iron Man against Captain America in an ideological conflict. But there's something from the event's aftermath which is bringing the two heroes, who have long since squashed their beef, back together for a unique team-up title called Captain America/Iron Man (opens in new tab).
In the just-released preview of November 8's Captain America/Iron Man #1 (of 5), Iron Man and Captain America are called in to apprehend a costumed criminal who was charged with killing three people. The twist is that it's a one-time hero, Fifty-One, who was part of Iron Man's post-Civil War 50-State Initiative.
The 50-State Initiative was a plan to have a superhero team for each of the 50 US states. Fifty-One was a recruit into Texas's Rangers team, which included Firebird, Phantom Rider, Red Wolf, Shooting Star, Texas Twister, Living Lightning, and Armadillo. Fifty-One and the Rangers haven't been seen much since 2013's Scarlet Spider #7 - #9 (opens in new tab) where he debuted and joined the team, but apparently, in the interim, he has gone rogue, killed some people in Minneapolis, and has hooked up with a group of hooded terrorists.
Check out this preview of Captain America/Iron Man #1:
(Yes, Fifty-One's name appears to be a reference to Area 51 given his alien-like appearance.)
Written by Derek Landy with art from Angel Unzueta, Captain America/Iron Man focuses on a new Hydra villain with connections to both heroes, who go on the hunt for the mysterious agent when she breaks out of prison. The as-yet-unnamed agent appears briefly in this preview in the prison jumpsuit, but isn't identified.
This won't be the first title Captain America and Iron Man have shared, though it is their first team-up title as a pair. Back in the '60s when Captain America was brought into the modern Marvel Universe, he and Iron Man both appeared in Marvel's Tales of Suspense title, with the heroes receiving their own separate stories in each issue.
Their adventures were split into two titles a few years later, with Iron Man moving to a new solo ongoing series, and Tales of Suspense being renamed as Captain America while retaining the same numbering.
In fact, it's those classic stories that inspired writer Landy to create the story at the heart of Captain America/Iron Man.
"Ever since the pandemic hit, I've been making my way through the old Marvel omnibuses, reading all the stories from the '60s that I'd only heard about/absorbed through osmosis – with Steve Rogers and Tony Stark being uppermost on the reading pile," Landy states in Marvel's announcement.
"Little did I know that this was actually a prolonged bout of diligent and thorough research for which I should be roundly admired – nay lauded," he jokes. "The opportunity to write these characters is as daunting as it is thrilling, but with Ángel Unzueta on art duties, I'm reassured that it'll at least LOOK gorgeous."
Unzueta himself states that Captain America and Iron Man are his two favorite Marvel characters and that working with Landy has given him plenty of room to stretch his muscles as an artist and live up to his own admiration for the characters.
"He gives the script a great cinematographic sense in every panel and the choreography pushes me to be clear, detailed, and dynamic at the same time," Unzueta says of Landy's work on the title. "There are a lot of things to say about the relationship of these two Marvel heroes and Derek shows in this miniseries his deep understanding of their dynamic and services it into a great and relevant story: An instant classic!"
Alex Ross has illustrated the main cover to Captain America/Iron Man #1, with variant covers planned by Adam Kubert, Dan Jurgens, Patrick Gleason, Taurin Clarke, and Alex Ross again with a second version of his cover without the trade dress. Check them out here:
Captain America/Iron Man #1 (of 5) goes on sale on December 8.
Of course, Iron Man and Captain America have often teamed up - or in that one case we mentioned, fought against one another - in some of the best Marvel stories of all time.