Marvel has officially revealed active duty US Air Force Intelligence officer Jeremy Merrick as the final member of the newly termed ‘Captains Network’, a group of five ‘regional’ Captain Americas inspired by the Star-Spangled Avenger to fight crime on a local scale and set to be introduced throughout the summer in the pages of the publisher’s The United States of Captain America mini-series.
Described as “a literal Captain in the United States Air Force who has devoted himself to aiding veterans and active service members,” Merrick was created by series creative team Christopher Cantwell and Dale Eaglesham and based, in both name and character, on a real-world US Army Staff Sergeant Cantwell met “nearly 20 years ago” while working as a production assistant on a documentary focused on National Guard.
“Meeting these different people, all of whom were serving their communities through wildfires, floods, and natural disasters—while then deploying overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan for additional tours—showed me how myopic my worldview was at the time,” said Cantwell of his time with the National Guard troops.
“There was one Staff Sergeant in particular named Jeremy that I became fast friends with. I really looked up to him,” Cantwell said specifically of the newest Captain America’s real-world inspiration. “He challenged the idea of what a soldier was in my head and made me completely rethink it. Jeremy Merrick is definitely an echo of him.”
Like the four other regional Captain Americas revealed previously, Merrick takes up the Red, White, and Blue mantle in order to protect his personal community – which in his case, involves rectifying the post-service mistreatment of US military veterans.
“Jeremy Merrick is an Air Force intelligence officer serving at NORAD, but previous to that he has done tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Cantwell. “He’s stationed in Colorado and is a single dad raising a young daughter. He’s very much about protecting those who serve with and under him, like my friend Jeremy was. He wants to make sure his fellow soldiers and service members are protected and taken care of, and aren’t chewed up by the system they’ve devoted their lives to.”
As noted above, Merrick is the fifth and final ‘regional’ Captain America set to be introduced in Cantwell and Eaglesham’s United States of Captain America, following LGBTQ+ activist Aaron Fischer, black Philadelphia-resident Nichelle Wright, Native American Kickapoo tribesman Joe Gomez, and Filipino-American college student Ari Agbayani.
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