May 2012. The Avengers hit theaters and mowed me down. The build-up to the movie took years with Ironman, Thor and Captain America all introduced in their own movies (multiple Hulk incarnations, too). As a kid who learned to read with Marvel comics, I was primed to love them all. And I did. Thank you, Joss Whedon.
In the end, I had questions. These are the ones that bugged me most:
1. How in the heck was Steve Rogers supposed to adjust to being thrust seventy years into the future? He was a relatively innocent young man who was only just getting used to a sickly body completely transformed into a lean, mean fighting machine. As Captain America, he already had enough psychological baggage to contend with, let alone the fast-paced, sexually open twenty-first century.
2. What was the genesis of Agent Phil Coulson’s hero-worship of Cap? All little boys (and bigger boys, too) look up to mentors, role models and heroes, but Captain America would have been very old-fashioned and far removed from a young Phil Coulson’s everyday life. What was the story there? Who was this agent that commanded so much respect and affection from the rest of SHIELD?
I wanted to answer both these questions and thought it might be possible to weave them together in one story. I also wrote this before Phil Coulson’s resurrection in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. At the time and place of this story, the Avengers thought he was dead. So did his family. I think.
To read Chapter One: Timeless, click here.