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Old 06-14-2007, 01:12 PM   #1

Marvel Comics has confirmed for Newsarama that author David (First Blood) Morrell’s Captain America project, originally announced almost two years ago, is now ready to ship to comic book shops.

Captain America: The Chosen is a Marvel Knights six-issue limited series penciled by artist Mitch Breitweiser and launching this September. Each issue will be 22 pages in length, until the final issue #6, which will be 26 pages.

Now at this moment you may be saying to yourself, “Hey wait, didn’t Morrell announce in an interview a few months ago that the project was called Captain America: The End, seemingly a chapter in the umbrella of Marvel's ‘The End’ titles?”

No, you’re not crazy - yes he did. But things have changed since then, mainly due to another Captain America story from a few months back you may have heard of, that … well … is kind of an “End” story too…

We’ll let Morrell explain…

“Yes, the title was originally Captain America: The End,” confirmed the author. “But when Steve Rogers/Captain America was shot on the courthouse steps in another series, that original title suddenly seemed to suggest that my story and that other story were somehow related, which they aren’t.

“The Marvel Universe is spread in many different directions. My editor and I had no idea what was happening in that other story arc. When we learned that Cap had been shot, we were as surprised as anybody, and I immediately realized that we’d need to change the title in order to avoid confusion. The change turned out to be beneficial, because I much prefer the hope and epic feeling implied in the new title, Captain America: The Chosen.”

As the title change is intended to make clear, Morrell’s now Marvel Knights story completely stands on its own two feet. His full script was finished late last year and the writer tells us his original story and concept remains completely intact.

“Obviously, readers are curious about what will happen in that other part of the Marvel Universe, where Steve Rogers has been shot. Captain America: The Chosen won’t give them any answers,” explained Morrell.

“My story is a completely different series, with a very different, very realistic tone. It is self-contained and feels like a mini-novel. When all six issues are read in one sitting, I hope the reader gets a sense of the scope I tried to put into the story. More than sixty years of history are compressed into it.

“From the start, I wanted to tackle the theme of the burden of being a superhero in today’s troubled world, especially a hero named after the United States. I wanted to try for the kind of character development that a novel provides. I wanted to try for emotion and relevance to the actual world and to present Cap’s history in a new way that makes us understand him as if for the first time. He’s a complex character with rich implications for all of us.”

Given the project was initially announced nearly two years ago, we asked Morrell to give us some insight into the origin of the story, and some insight into why it’s taken this long to come to get into readers’ hands?

“A Marvel editor, Andy Schmidt, got in touch with me two years ago and asked if I’d be interested in doing a six-part Captain America series,” Morrell explained. “The idea was that Captain America had a strong military background, and I was the creator of Rambo in my 1972 novel First Blood, another strong military character. Andy thought it would be interesting for me and Cap to get together. I love finding new ways to tell a story and immediately said that I was interested. But neither Any nor I knew if I had the ability to write an illustrated story.

“In my youth, I was a comic-book addict, particularly the EC horror and science fiction stories. But after the government restricted the comic-book industry, I drifted away (except for MAD). Now I had a lot of catching up to do, particularly with regard to Captain America. Andy sent me the essential Cap stories along with some script formats. I was reminded of movie scripts, with the difference that illustrated stories are based on stop action. I wanted the experience so much that I wrote two spec issues of the mini-series, and when Marvel saw what I wanted to do, they welcomed me aboard.”

And as to the reasons between the long development period..? Morrell explained that too…

“First, I needed to immerse myself in Cap’s history and to think of a new way to explore his character. Then I needed to learn about writing illustrated stories. Among other things, I really fell in love with the drama of what happens when a reader turns a page, the opportunity for surprise.

“Next, I kept getting ideas for revisions, for better ways to present certain scenes, so I was constantly asking Andy Schmidt to give me extra time. And extra pages. The story so engaged me that I got permission to add four more pages to the final issue.

“Meanwhile, Mitch Breitweiser was showing us these incredible images with such realistic details of combat in Afghanistan that there seemed to be actual grit on the paper. Mitch’s painstaking research and attention to dramatic possibilities meant that he had to move at a slower pace than he otherwise might have been able to. His images are exceptional. One look at the first issue will announce to readers how stunningly talented he is.”

So finally, having talked about what his story is not and the two years it took to hit shelves, Morrell explained what his story is about, and given its combat scenes in Afghanistan, how tied to the “real” world and the U.S.’s current political reality it is…

“There are references to recent major world events, but there isn't a political soapbox, unless you consider the stress that our military goes through as a political statement. The theme is big, however. “

“I don't like giving away big story details,” said the author, “but I feel comfortable saying this. The entire story takes place in Afghanistan in the present, although I can't recall if we actually name the country. The story is about a new character, a U.S. Marine corporal named James Newman, who fears that he is suffering from combat stress when he starts seeing Captain America. Their relationship allows Newman to understand Captain America and his career in a completely different way.”
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Old 06-14-2007, 01:44 PM   #2
Derek Ruiz
I'm in...this looks awesome.
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Old 06-14-2007, 01:46 PM   #3
This looks wonderful! Beautiful art and amazing talent behind it!
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Old 06-14-2007, 01:51 PM   #4
It's been nearly two years since Marvel first announced this, and wait, wasn't it called something else? Author David Morrell (First Bood) explains all....

First bood?
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Old 06-14-2007, 01:58 PM   #5
Gamma Charge
Originally Posted by NeroMan
First bood?

First Blood is the novel that the first Rambo movie was based on.
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Old 06-14-2007, 01:59 PM   #6
Steve Magnum
Originally Posted by NeroMan
First bood?

As in Rambo. It even mentions it in the interview!
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:01 PM   #7
so this is pry Mitch pre-Drax...his Drax series was amazing, not sure if the art in this will stand up to it if its old....and is issue two a Charest cover? I think i've seen that image floatin' around before.
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:04 PM   #8
Oh and...the concept here sounds solid enough to give the first issue a try
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:12 PM   #9
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:14 PM   #10
Brotherhood of the Rose, Fraternity of the Stone, The Protector, The Fifth Profession, League of Night and Fog, Assumed Identity.........this had me there. This preview just sold me completely. I'm all in!
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:14 PM   #11
This sounds like a very interesting story. Given Cap's roots in the very real world, real time World War 2 era, it will be interesting to see how he holds up in the setting of contemporary American warfare.


Fantastic Four Cycling Jersey for sale on EBAY! Quick-dry. No longer being produced!

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Old 06-14-2007, 02:17 PM   #12
Originally Posted by ejulp
so this is pry Mitch pre-Drax...his Drax series was amazing, not sure if the art in this will stand up to it if its old....and is issue two a Charest cover? I think i've seen that image floatin' around before.

Mitch and I started on this project after Drax. So no it's not "old" art, but we have been working on this for quite a while.

-Brian Reber
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:20 PM   #13
cool beans. I'd rather had The End, but this looks good.
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:25 PM   #14
I'm IN!!!

This looks wonderful, and iconic in scope and I can't wait to get my hands on it!
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:26 PM   #15
Looks great! I'm really looking forward to this series.

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Old 06-14-2007, 02:29 PM   #16
It's frustrating in a way that it has to lose out on being Cap's "The End" book because of the current storyline in the main title. I still don't think any of us expect Steve Rogers to remain dead and gone for long, and to rob this book of it's chance to be in that line is kinda' jerk-y, in my opinion. Not that I think that it'll detract from the book itself... It looks quite strong.

I just wonder at Marvel's editorial sometimes. But then, I guess if they had released it as a "The End" book, it would've only confirmed what we're already guessing.

I've not heard of Mitch Breitweiser before, but his stuff looks really, really solid. And, while I haven't read the First Blood novel, I thought the first movie was the strongest of the series, and I had a discussion about the books with someone the other day who said the books were fantastic.

Plus, I do want to say, it's great that they gave this whole project the extra time to make sure it's completed. I'd be very disappointed if it was another mini that started and stopped in the middle, waiting for issues to come that (seemingly) never will. I think Marvel is getting better with this, if Dark Tower is any indication, and it's nice that this book seems to be set to follow the same track.

See. Bad things, Good things. I'm fair and balanced.
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:38 PM   #17
Isnt this kinda redundant, considering, well... that Cap is actually dead?
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:46 PM   #18
Amazing Red
this looks absolutely georgeous can't wait
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:47 PM   #19
Mitch's Cap looks like John Cassidey's. Which is great. Someone should tap him to take over art duties on Astonishing X-Men.
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:52 PM   #20
Ed Brubaker
I'm sorry, but Editor Andy Schmidt used to work in the Heroes office where Cap is edited, and was at all the editorial meetings where Cap 25 was planned, long ago, so he did know of the plans in the main Cap series for quite some time now.

From my understanding, though, the only thing about this mini-series that was changed was the title. It's still the exact same book, I believe, and I think this title is actually more appropriate given the content of the book, as you'll all see when it comes out. I'm really looking forward to it, personally.
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:56 PM   #21
Wow that art is stunning...

I love Cap and will probably check it out once it's collected. By the writer's own admission, this sounds like it would be better served in trade form.
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Old 06-14-2007, 03:03 PM   #22
Jeremy Williams
“A Marvel editor, Andy Schmidt, got in touch with me two years ago and asked if I’d be interested in doing a six-part Captain America series

Arggg! All the cool stuff come from Andy! We'll miss him.

'looking forward to this series.
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Old 06-14-2007, 03:16 PM   #23
mitchell breitweiser
I'm glad you guys are enjoying the artwork! Trust me, it gets better as the book progresses. David, Brian, and I have worked really hard on this one. I know It took a while to get this project out to you guys, but you won't be disappointed with the results.


for those of you who want to stay up to date on the project and the artwork I am providing a RSS feed from my website: http://mitchellillustration.com
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Old 06-14-2007, 03:25 PM   #24
Johnny Smith
definitely a series to pick up
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Old 06-14-2007, 03:28 PM   #25
Gladiator X
This sounds pretty damned sweet.

Definitely on my pull-list.
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