Captain Action #3

A comic review article by: Ray Tate
Still reeling over the death of Captain Action last issue, the Action Directorate plans for the future. Meanwhile, the criminal underworld scheme as the world reaches a vulnerable crossroads.

Yeah, this is a surprise to me as well. I am not a fan of Captain Action, but the last issue was so good that I wanted to see what happened next.

Steven Grant is a consummate professional writer. There's a high probability that anything he produces will be readable, welcoming and entertaining. You may not like the subject matter, but you'll appreciate the talent behind the subject. In other words, DC offered Grant Booster Gold, the main character would still likely suck, but the stories would measurably increase in quality.

After reading this issue of Captain Action, you'll know the names of the Directorate officers and the roster's affiliations. The Directorate is an international affair, and Grant injects some political shenanigans into the mix of alien takeovers and superheroes gone rogue.

The United States wants a leading position in the Directorate distinct from that of the independently thinking Captain Action. They have their own heroes ready to take over, but there may be more than a mere measuring contest at work. Grant suggests the presence of a triple agent. This agent appears to work for the U.S. government, while outwardly working for the Directorate, but his loyalties may lie elsewhere. It's a neat little twist on the spy genre. Grant takes advantage of the larger than life world of the super-hero to find espionage outside the old Cold War paradigm.

Grant is a well known online political pundit. His Master of the Obvious column at comicbookresources.com justifiably lambasted the Bush Administration on a weekly basis. I wonder if Bush's "Mission Accomplished" fiasco on the aircraft carrier didn't inspire the final moment in this chapter of Captain Action. In this instance, all the machinations of the U.S. agents go south. I wonder if Grant hadn't imagined say former President Bill Clinton stealing Bush's thunder by steering his rocket-pack onto the carrier to the tune of "Hound Dog." The final scene of Captain Action is just as rousing in the context of the Captain Action Universe.

Manuel Martin's artwork is good and solid. Martin captures realistic body language, embellishes believable emotion to the cast and weaves an easy to follow visual narrative. When Grant unveils the American plan for taking over the Directorate, Martin not missing a beat makes the reveal a memorable moment. Even taking in account the wacky world of comics, the heroes are a ridiculous bunch enhanced by the near blinding red, white and blue of Pedroza. They're Neocon poster children propagandizing the United States. I can't really mention the show-stopper without spoiling the plot. Suffice to say that Martin and Pedroza end the story on a splash page that should be made into a tee-shirt.

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