Quisque Comoedum Est
Super-heroes and politics become an increasingly intertwined trend as demonstrated by these two new titles from DC and Image.
In the war against terror, super-heroes have become an important tool. The agency known as S.H.A.D.E. dispatches The Ray, Phantom Lady, Human Bomb and Doll Man, among others, into high-risk situations to defuse potential terror threats. However, their project is threatened by Phantom Lady’s father, Senator Knight.
Citing the illegal assassination of a drug kingpin at his grandson’s birthday party, Knight promises to dissolve S.H.A.D.E. once he wins the presidential election. Amid these moral mix-ups is Firebrand, who claims to be the herald of Uncle Sam, who will very soon be trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.
None of this pleases S.H.A.D.E.’s director, Father Time, who shows he’s willing to do anything to preserve American security, including hunting down Uncle Sam.
A comic gestating in the paranoid ‘90s and born in the terrified ‘00s, it’s got unbelievable Daniel Acuña art and the reliable team of Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti writing.
A coup in nuclear-armed nation gets the U.S.A.’s attention, but two ops teams are slaughtered trying to infiltrate the country (whichever country it may be. The book’s not really specific on that point). There’s some super-human power backing it up, so Task Force 1 is brought in, despite apprehensions over their only previous fieldwork.
We spend half the issue in flashback to that mission, though it’s really not clear what goes wrong. A force from the ground takes out half the team, but if its cause is meant to be mysterious, it’s more obfuscated. In fact, there’s a lot of decent story here muddled in closure that just isn’t clear. The flashback itself seems equally likely to be a cut-scene at first, and it concludes with the team’s psychic blacking out, presumably, but by no means clearly, from overexertion. It needs sharper editing to become a tight little tale.
Right now, nothing in particular makes the book stand out from any other team of government capes.
Brendan McGinley is a long-time writer for ComicBase. His comic favorites include anything featuring Grim Jack, Punisher, Guy Gardner, Green Lantern, or written buy Evan Dorkin, Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Deadpool… and the list goes on. But he insists he is of discriminating tastes.