A powerful eulogy for Captain America

Posted: July 09, 2007

Only Tony Stark - and Marvel - would do this.

While much of the advance press for the fifth and final issue of "Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America" has centered on Cap's funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, the end of the issue offers a surprise twist.

This is one of writer Jeph Loeb's better efforts in this series. There are a few powerful and poignant moments, the highlight of which is the eulogy given at Arlington by Sam Wilson, Cap's longtime partner, the Falcon.

Wilson manages in a short time to include the other heroes of World War II, Cap's return, the heroes of today, how every one of us can be heroes, and how it's all connected.

In short, he states that Cap's funeral, instead of being a time of sadness, can be the kind of event that inspires unity and hope, which is what Cap stood for.

However, Iron Man is the featured character in this issue, which has him dealing with the final stage of grief, acceptance.

As he watches his best friend's burial, you are left wondering if he will ever accept Cap's fate and the role he played in it and how it will affect him in the future. Powerful storytelling.

Morrell is 'Chosen'

For those yearning for a story starring a Captain America that is not only alive but vibrant, there is great news.

Marvel has confirmed a Captain America project by David Morrell, the author best known for introducing another soldier, John Rambo, to the world in his novel "First Blood."

"Captain America: The Chosen" is a six-issue limited series under the Marvel Knights imprint that will launch this September.

Though the project was announced two years ago, Morrell gave Newsarama.com some of the reasons for the long wait: a desire to have the entire series completed before it was solicited to prevent the possibility of delays; Morrell acclimating himself to writing an illustrated story; Morrell feeling a need to immerse himself in Cap's long history, and the painstaking attention to detail by series artist Mitch Breitweiser.

So what is the story about?

"The story takes place in Afghanistan in the present," Morrell told Newsarama.com. "The story is about a new character, a Marine corporal named James Newman, who fears he has combat stress when he starts seeing Captain America.

"Their relationship allows Newman to understand Captain America and his career in a completely different way."

Favreau cast in 'Iron'?

"Iron Man" director Jon Favreau recently announced on his MySpace page that his film has "finally wrapped."

Favreau added that he is definitely using the comics to "inspire" his story and that "we decided to treat 'Iron Man' as a first chapter. We cover the origin story and the rise of the hero. It stands alone as a movie, but definitely leaves room for more to be told. Sequels often feel like the story was slapped together in a scramble to exploit a successful franchise. I prefer when stories are mapped out in advance . . . Additional 'Iron Man' movies are by no means guaranteed but, if we are lucky enough to do more, we will be ready to do them well."

In regard to possible casting, Favreau had this to say: "I've read that Sam Jackson and Hillary Swank are S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and that I myself play a Vegas security guard. There is no truth to any of these rumors."

"Well," he coyly added, "maybe one is true."

What's next for Singer?

Earlier this month, producers Neil Merron and Craig Zadan had Superman's legions of fans expressing extreme disappointment when they announced that director Bryan Singer ("Superman Returns") would be starting production on their film, "The Mayor of Castro Street," immediately after Singer finished directing Tom Cruise in "Valkyrie."

If true, that would delay the next Superman movie, which Singer has long said he plans to start shooting by the summer of 2008.

Sources in Singer's camp are adamant that Merron and Zadan's claims are untrue.

"That's total horse s---," one said to IESB.net. "Don't you realize that most of the 'Superman' producers are working with Bryan on 'Valkyrie'? Gil Adler and Chris Lee both are in Germany with Bryan and guarantee you there is some work being done on 'Superman' right now." *

E-mail comicsguy@phillynews.com

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