Captain America and the Falcon was a comic book series published for fourteen issues in 2004 and 2005 by Marvel Comics. The series' title is a reuse of the cover title of Captain America's solo series during a period in which the Falcon was given second billing on the front cover. Although never the official title, Captain America was cover titled Captain America and the Falcon from issue #134 (dated February 1971) to issue #222 (dated June 1978).
The 2004 Captain America and the Falcon series' fourteen issues were all written by Christopher Priest, with the artwork duties passing to a number of different groupings. The artists with the two most prominent runs were Bart Sears and Joe Bennett.
The idea to begin publishing Captain America and the Falcon began with Marvel editor Tom Brevoort. Captain America's solo title had been restarted in 2002 as a part of the Marvel Knights imprint. This resulted in a situation in which the character's then current solo stories were no longer taking place within Marvel's main shared universe, the Marvel Universe. Captain America and the Falcon was meant to fill the gap created by this situation.
Problems began almost immediately, problems Priest would later admit were created by both himself and Bart Sears:
|“||I was thinking that the readers and the company would both have enough patience with us and enough confidence in me as a writer to enjoy the ride and not demand instant gratification. I really believe readers are far less patient now than ever, and that fans love to play Cancellation Roulette and, so, tend to avoid perfectly healthy comic books the fan press have labeled as failures.
Complicating things even more was, initially, artist Bart Sears’ storytelling approach. Now, Bart is A Name, and his agreeing to work on CAF was greeted with elation, first and foremost by me. We have Bart to thank for CAF’s strong launch, as the book was (likely) entirely sold on Bart’s Name.
But many fans took an instant dislike to Bart’s style—everybody was hulking the anatomical proportions were comically extreme—and most everyone was completely lost by the first issue’s story, which was my fault. I’d designed a first issue where Cap seems to be acting out of character, intercut with apparent flashbacks to events leading up to this behavior. At the end of the issue, however, it is revealed that “Cap” is not the real Captain America, and that the flashbacks weren’t flashbacks at all but were cutaway sequences occurring within the same time frame.
That was a dicey choice on my part, but we had clear directions and time signatures inserted. A savvy reader could (and should have) realized, somewhere in the first issue, that they were looking at two different Caps.
Only, Bart chose a page layout design that utterly confused even the most basic storytelling and completely derailed this dicey misdirect. Ignoring instructions and warnings abut how important it was to keep the lines straight and clear, Bart chose to insert—for no apparent reason—poster-shot images of Captain American and the Falcon on most every page. Accommodating these required the other panels to be modified, reduced or eliminated altogether, making the pages very hard to follow. I wrote the thing and didn’t have an earthly clue what was going on.
Christopher J. Priest, January 2, 2006
The death blow for Captain America and the Falcon came when Captain America's solo series was once again relaunched in 2005. This new solo series featured stories once again set in the Marvel Universe. With sales dropping and the series very reason for existing now gone, Marvel canceled Captain America and the Falcon with issue #14.
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