With Independence Day near, I talked to author Mark D. White, of “The Virtues of Captain America,” about some of his favorite Captain America comics. See more about Captain America — including times Steve Rogers quit the job and why — in Friday’s column in The Oklahoman. White’s book about how Captain America’s virtues can help us in today’s modern times is available now.
White highly recommended Mark Waid’s “Man Out of Time,” which features a retold version of Captain America’s return to modern times. The series was drawn by Jorge Molina. In the series, Cap has to come to terms with the fact that he’s been displaced from his own time, and must come to understand what’s good and bad about the past and the present.
“He starts to realize that the past is not as good as he thought it was,” White said. “And even though the future has changed in terms of clothing and music and technology, etc., he realizes that the country also progressed a lot in terms of human rights. That’s a wonderful story by Mark Waid.”
Here are some other recommended Cap stories from White:
* “Another collection of Cap stories that I love is Paul Jenkins’ Captain America: Theater of War, four one-shots (with various artists) published while Steve Rogers was “dead” that focus on his wartime adventures (both in WWII as well as the modern Middle East). They really bring home his personal virtues in the context of war and the military, such as adhering to protocol regarding POWs and honoring promises to the fallen.”
* “Also, David Morrell and Mitch Breitweiser’s The Chosen, in which a dying Cap in the near future passes on his spirit to a young soldier, telling him that anybody–police officers, firefighters, teachers, etc. – can “be” Captain America if they believe in justice and have the courage and compassion to fight for it. (Both of these are cited repeatedly in my book.)”
* “Also J.M. DeMatteis’ run in the early 80s, when Cap confronts the fact that the American reality doesn’t live up to the American dream — some fantastic socially conscious comics there.”
See more from Mark D. White in Friday’s Weekend Life section, and you can read even more about his take on Cap in “The Virtues of Captain America.”