"The Broken Eagle"
Writers: Danny Bilson, Paul DeMeo, Adam Brody
Artist: Jerry Ordway, Al Vey(i), Johnny Rench & Carrie Strachan(c)
Batman bails out The Eagle in Red menace. Oh, Danny Bilson, Paul DeMeo and Adam Brody do not state that the Eagle's benefactor is Batman, but who else could "Some moneybags from Gotham" be? The act certainly fits Batman's character.
Returning home, the Eagle discovers the treachery in Russia and more insanity from his own countrymen. His daughter stands strong beside him, but the plucking of the Eagle's feathers has left the hero deeply dejected.
Normally, such a sad story depicting the plight of a fallen hero would have me up in arms, but Bilson, DeMeo and Brody are simply too good to ignore. You cannot cast them with the lot of hacks who failed to understand the full meaning behind The Dark Knight Returns.
Red menace is dark, but it's not dark for the sake of darkness. Red menace's darkness plays to a backdrop of a historical reality. The writers extrapolate the sick desires of Senator Joseph McCarthy who was a sphincter and human leech. Like all good super-hero comic book writers, they open up a subplot dealing with a world threat. Only this time the menace carries its gravitas in the facts.
Things look grim, but hope in this book is literally around the corner in the form of neophyte super-hero the Gray Falcon, and you know only "the commie-loving" super-heroes bullied into submission by the HUAC will be able to stop McCarthy's plan. The fact that the book isn't set in DCU continuity suggests that they actually might succeed.
Red menace works on many levels. The Eagle represents the felling of idols. His daughter and the Gray Falcon symbolize faith and optimism. The historical accuracy of Red menace gives way to imagining an evil thirst that cannot be quenched in a world of super-heroes and super-villains that now work for the government. There is pertinence and parallel when one considers the rare combination of idiocy and corruption sitting in the White House. If that's not enough to entice the reader, it’s all drawn by Jerry Ordway with Al Vey on inks and the delicate hues of Johnny Rench & Carrie Strachan.
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