Review and Rating of Captain America: The Chosen

 

Writer: David Morrell
Artist: Mitch Breitweiser
Color Artist: Brian Reber
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel
REVIEW
In Captain America: The Chosen, Marvel’s touching upon what it does best, World War Two (Who are better villains than the Nazis?). The comic, starring Corporal James Newman in Afghanistan, parallels Captain America’s struggles in the Second World War with the hardships of today’s war. And I should mention, this isn’t a story just about Captain America.  Long story short, The Chosen follows a new hero, Newman, with a dying Captain America as his guide (the hero’s “supernatural aid,” according to Joseph Campbell, if you want to go there.). Although this is Morrell’s first foray in comic book writing, he gives us a very decent script, with a solid plot and compelling characterization. I was drawn into the story enough to not question the bizarre think/mental teleportation machine Captain America was hooked up to. Without Captain America taking the lead, Morrell had to create a pretty darn convincing new hero. I’d say he succeeded. The use of flashbacks, of both Captain America and Corporal Newman, strengthen the characterization by contributing to our understanding of the character’s fears and motivations. Yes, the solider-fighting-for-his-wife-and-child bit is cliché, but at least it’s not over-emphasized.
            The art, particularly through color and sharp lines, set the tone of the comic. Sandy tans, harsh browns, an almost monochromatic artist’s pallet, and muted grays and reds reflect the mood of the dying Captain America. Check out the panel-less page of everyday heroes in chapter six. Non-existent panels give the content a feeling of limitlessness, adding to the effect (created by captions) that heroes can be anywhere (and everyone). And that’s the ‘moral’ of the comic, by the way.
            Yeah, Captain America died already, but this burp in continuity can be forgiven by the uniqueness of Captain America’s second death and the comic’s solid script and artwork.
P.S. Morell includes part of his script in the back of the book. Great reference for new comic writers!
RATING
%Panels Devoted to Women
2.11%
Women in Action
★  Women don’t participate in plot-moving action
The only women in the entire comic are Newman’s wife, who appears only in panels that are flashbacks/daydreaming, silent everyday heroes in chapter six, and “extras.”
Women as Leaders
n/a
See above.
Women as Sex Objects
★ ★ ★ Women are depicted as sexy (or their sex is not emphasized at all), but their allure does not define their purpose as a prominent, plot-moving character in the comic.
But here’s a caveat: women aren’t plot movers. At least they aren’t objectified.
Men Deviating from Male Stereotypes
★ ★ Men sometimes deviate from the male stereotypes of a logical mind, rationality, lack of expression and empathy.
Okay, so it’s a comic about men in war. But Corporal Newman (and even Captain America at times) is surprisingly in touch with his emotions.

Here’s my question as I prepare myself for the release of Marvel’s Captain America movie this weekend: Will the Captain America movie be as compelling as The Chosen?

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