On Tom Brevoort’s blog, he has been posting some rough drafts of the Civil War series, including the initial crossover plans. Mark Millar put together the first Civil War draft on September 16, 2005, and updated the first issue in November. Tom states “a couple of weeks and a few drafts of issue #1 later, as well as revisions to the overview, and we were ready to reach out to the rest of the editors, in order to work out the various tie-in books.” One of the revisions was “Cap himself gives up the mask and gets on a motor-bike, getting out there to find himself and reconnect with America” instead of the eventual assassination of Steve Rogers.
A ComicList reader found it odd Joe Quesada said in Comic Buyers Guide #1631 the notion of killing Captain America started “at the first big creative summit we had to discuss all the events in Civil War… a year and half ago.” Did this version of Civil War where Steve Rogers retires and survives get written before or after that summit?
I found a Newsrama article title “Joe Fridays: Week 33.” I believe this column is dated from around December 2005. Here’s what I found in the article:
NEWSARAMA: Last week you mentioned you’d be busy very this week with creative summits. We’ve got a unique opportunity to take readers inside and give them some insight as to these things go? How about it?
Joe Quesada: Well, you can’t get much more inside than us doing this while I’m in the middle of the summit. We’re on a lunch break so let me see how much we can get done.
Please excuse me if I’m a bit briefer with these answers than I usually am.
NRAMA: Can you tell us who’s there in New York with your editors? Maybe describe one particular session as an example … how it begins and the agenda is determined? Who’s there and what happens during?
JQ: It’s a three-day event.
Day 1, we had all of our editorial offices present their next year and a half plans for each of their titles. Present are Joe Straczynski, Jeph Loeb, Mark Millar, Ed Brubaker, and Brian Bendis. This day is just an overview of the next 18 months.
Day 2 was an entire day of hammering out more details about Civil War and its aftermath.
This is from a March 2007 Comic Book Resources interview with Ed Brubaker:
CBR: How long ago was the decision to kill Cap made and how has that affected the stories you’ve told in the meantime?
Brubaker: The final decision was made between me and [Editor] Tom Brevoort after the big “Civil War” summit meeting. I told him what I wanted to do, and how I wanted to do it, and then I began laying the groundwork for it in the “Civil War” tie-in issues of “Captain America.”
Now, given the publication date of that issue of CBG, the creative summit would have taken place around the end of 2005. That would place the summit AFTER the “Steve Rogers retires” drafts of Civil War. But, “end of 2005” isn’t exactly precise timing.
However, per Jeph Loeb, “We were at the creative summit at Christmas and while I knew that something was going to happen, I wasn’t really aware that it was this… Damn, Brevoort and his conspiracies… You know that’s who Bendis’ bases all his Nick Fury stuff on, right?! So, I heard that the end of Civil War led into Cap #25 and The Death of Captain America and just about @#$% my pants. Cap’s one of my favorite characters ever and so I asked the dumb question: Does this mean that Marvel is going out of business?!”
That would be December 2005, shortly after the rough drafts. And there, devoted ComicList questioners, is your answer.