From the July 4 edition of The Oklahoman:
By Matthew Price
Assistant Features Editor
As the United States celebrates its independence, Marvel Comics has released a collection of a popular “Captain America” story.
When Captain America was killed in Marvel’s line of comic books in 2007, the character received more publicity than ever. “Captain America: The Chosen” is a miniseries written by The New York Times best-selling author and Rambo creator David Morrell, with art by Mitch Breitweiser. It sold out its first issue nationwide. “Chosen” now is available in a hardcover collection from Marvel.
“Captain America: The Chosen” is part of Marvel’s “Marvel Knights” line. The line explores alternate and more sophisticated versions of the characters, as in recent miniseries “Spider-Man: Reign” and “Silver Surfer: Requiem.” In “Chosen,” an aged Captain America is dying, but Cpl. James Newman, deployed to Afghanistan, thinks he sees the captain alive and well, and helping Newman escape from scrapes.
Breitweiser, from Arkansas, told The Oklahoman in a phone interview that the death of Captain America probably helped the sales of “Chosen,” but that he had no advance knowledge of the plan.
“Marvel’s more secret than the CIA,” Breitweiser said. “I didn’t know about the death of Cap that day, when it happened. I called (Marvel’s) office, and they didn’t expect the amount of media coverage they were going to get from that.”
Breitweiser said the commotion about Captain America’s death inspired him to improve his art even further.
“Cap meant a lot to a lot of people, even those that weren’t reading comics, as an American icon, and I think that hit a chord with the public consciousness,” Breitweiser said. “I was still finishing the book up at the time, and that inspired me even more to just knock it out of the park.”
Morrell talked about the series on his Web site, www.davidmorrell.net, at the time of the first issue’s release:
“Throughout the story, these words function as a constant refrain: ‘Courage, honor, loyalty, sacrifice.’ Those are the military virtues, and in my opinion, the world would be a better place if all civilians practiced them.”