Saturday, September 08, 2007

Why You... I Oughtta...

Ever wonder what Moe Howard of the Three Stooges might look like had he been cast as Captain America? Apparently Marvel did, since that's apparently who's depicted on the variant cover of Captain America: The Chosen #1.

Inside, the book is less Stooge-esque; writer David Morrell does a capable job of laying the groundwork for a story that explores the role of a patriotic icon in a non-traditional war half a world away. The story places a strong focus on the cultural differences between American and fundamentalist Muslim culture, reminding us that this is a war against an enemy who rejects virtually every cultural attribute that America embraces. Into this war comes Captain America... or does he?

I suspect that response to this comic is going to be polarized to a large degree based on political viewpoint. Those who most vehemently oppose the war against radical terrorists and fundamental fascism will criticize the comic due to the fact that it is sympathetic and supportive of American troops in the Middle East; those who support that war effort will find much to appreciate in this comic.

Both sides, though, might criticize the fact that too little happens in the first issue. This installment's finale should have occurred about two-thirds of the way through the book; readers need to see more of Captain America to get a sense of Morrell's direction with this story. For almost four bucks an issue, readers have a reasonable expectation of more plot for their dollar. I think the miniseries as a whole is going to be very strong, but Morrell hasn't quite caught on to the demands of serialized fiction's pacing.

Even so, I was quite taken with the first issue. Morrell gets Captain America much more than most anyone else working with the character currently...

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