ďNow You See Me, Now You DonítĒ
Writer: David Morrell
Artist(s): Mitch Breitweiser, Brian Reber (c)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Iíve said it before and I will say it once more, I donít like comic book stories which are set in real world milieus with real life political conflicts and implications.
Captain America: The Chosen is a fine structured comic book, the artwork is vividly painted by Mitch Breitweiser and Brian Reber, and the narrative flows along like a dream sequence, choosing to focus not on a super-hero themed book, but on the story of one individual soldier finding honor, courage and all the abstract values America is supposed to stand for.
David Morrell is a fine author. I recently digested his best selling novel Creepers in which the protagonist is imbued with extensive military experience. Morrellís own background in the armed forces serves the story well.
However, in this case it doesnít work. One thing this comic book isnít, it isnít any fun. That is the unpardonable sin in my book and the one glaring flaw in an escapist story for an entertainment medium which gets set in a real world conflict.
I realize that this complain may seem irreconcilable with the character of Captain America, the super soldier who was born to sock Hitler in the jaw, but this is a personal choice I am speaking of and not a condemnation of the characterís rich history. I remember sitting up late to read Captain America comics as a kid and I enjoyed his confrontation with over the top villains like M.O.D.O.K. and the Serpent Society. The magic of these childhood moments was tarnished by reading Capís modern Marvel Knight adventures set in present day Afghanistan or Cuba.
If I want to read about modern day political conflicts, I can pick up a newspaper or tune into CNN, but for my escapist fantasy give me super-heroes, fictional terrorist cells like A.I.M. or espionage like in the best of Bond films. Tongue in cheek entertainment with a hint of realistic settings, isnít that what the best Captain America yarns were always about?
Besides, Capís own ongoing book is so much fun, so devoid of heavy handed realism and centered more on the Marvel universe which was torn apart by the Civil War that a more realistic mini series seems superfluous and boring. Could it be the House of Ideas is trying to capitalize on the characterís popularity by concocting adventures outside of regular continuity just to make a few extra bucks? It certainly appears that way.
Bring Cap back to life, or keep making great comics about what people around him do when they realize heís dead. Whatever you do, set him in the fictional troubled mainstream Marvel Universe where the character works best. ĎNuff said!
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