In a secret stronghold in the United States, America’s Super-Soldier, Captain America, lies on a hospital bed, near death, ready to pay the ultimate price for his country. Meanwhile, in the battle-torn wastelands of Afghanistan, Marine Corporal James Newman is fatigued from months of endless combat. Assaulted by relentless tension, he can’t tell friend from foe. After he and his squad discover an enemy stronghold in a mountain cave, an explosion seals them inside. In the din of battle, with the smoky haze of the explosion mixing with the dust of the cave-in, the hand of a hero emerges: Captain America. Together they beat back overwhelming fear and stand as warriors. But is this Captain America real? Or is he just a ghost? And if he’s just a ghost, then who is the real hero? In Captain America: The Chosen, David Morrell explores the action and drama of Captain America with the same innovation that led to his renown as the author of First Blood and the creator of Rambo.
“A poignant, yet uplifting, story with psychological dimensions that transcend the genre…ingeniously plotted…beautifully drawn.”
In 2004, Marvel Comics editor Andy Schmidt contacted me, asking if the creator of Rambo would be willing to write a six-part comic-book series about another iconic soldier, Captain America. From my youth onward, I’ve been interested in comic books and readily agreed. I decided to write about the emotional and physical cost of being a super warrior named after the United States, someone who has battled never-ending enemies since 1941. What is the psychological consequence of being a super hero? With that question in mind, I learned about writing comic books—particularly from texts by Will Eisner and Scott McCloud—and concluded that comics are similar to illustrated story boards for films. I enjoyed having the freedom to decide how many panels would be on a given page and what would happen in each of those panels. My six issues were then given to Mitch Breitweiser, an extremely talented illustrator. He and I talked. He suggested adding some details in what became a genuine collaboration. Then his black-and-white drawings were given to colorist Brian Reber, who contributed his own talents. Eventually the six issues were collected in this volume. I added a lengthy afterword and the script for the first issue so that readers could realize the complex process that’s involved in creating a comic-book series.