Posted: Wednesday, March 6
By: Michael Deeley
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Writer: Rob Williams
Artist: Trevor Hairsine
Publisher: Com.X (www.comxcomics.com)
The American, the premier superhero of the United States, rebels against the government. He publicly humiliates the president, while friends broadcast his message to the nation. That message: "You are being lied to and controlled by a secret alliance of political and corporate masters. Now I'm going to expose them". The government sends out the superhuman team of Enola Gay to kill The American. Although they may not have to . . .
May I point out that British writers seem really down on the US? America was the bad guy in Ellis' 'Stormwatch', Ennis sent John Constantine through a twisted version of the USA in hell in 'Hellblazer: Damnation's Flame', and now we get a federally sponsored super-team being used to cover-up the nation's dirty secrets. I mean, I can understand how the US corporations have run rampant over the globe, and our "we're God's gift to history" attitude is over the top.
But I still like this country. And I'd rather be here than anywhere else.
Anyway, this is a solid first issue for what promises to be an exciting and challenging story. We've got the classic one-man-against-the-system story, with the twist of it being a really powerful man. This is the story of a superhero who isn't just trying to change the world; He's going to give people the means to change it themselves. Think Captain America trying to make the American Dream work for everyone, no mater who it pisses off. Think Superman taking the ideals of "truth, justice, and the American way" and attacking anything that opposes them. That's what 'Cla$$war' is about.
One element I'm glad to see is the presence, and implication, of an underground network helping the American. In most comic book stories, the hero tries to do an impossible task alone, (usually because it's in his book, and stars don't like to share). Realistically, a task like exposing all the secrets of America would require dozens, if not hundreds, of people in a variety of positions from many walks of life. What the American is starting is nothing less than a new revolution. And all the best revolutions have soldiers. And casualties.
The writing here is tight. And by "tight", I mean we have enough emotional impact, character development, exposition, plot points, and action for a year's worth of comics. I especially liked the American's guilt over killing his Russian counterpart, and enjoying it. It's not only natural and believable, but make the American flawed, yet noble. He's made mistakes, but you're still on his side.
As, usual, we get great art from the Com.X castle. The inks and pencils remind me of Gene Colan, but with a grittier texture. We get good proportions, nice panel-to-panel flow, and clean layouts. The book is easy to read and easy to follow, which makes it easier to become engrossed in the story.
The most intellectual work I've seen from Com.X. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series, and would love to see it collected in a trade book. If you haven't read anything from Com.X yet, this is THE book to get.
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