Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The American Way #3 Review and ***SPOILERS***

People Talking About Stuff

Written by: John Ridley
Art by: Georges Jeanty, John Livesay, and Nick Filardi
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 27, 2017


After a solid start to the series, I’m excited to see how John Ridley develops these characters and this story more. I had some trouble getting into the first two issues having not read the original series, but I think the character work in those issues gave me enough background to go from there and understand the rest of the story. While this isn’t the type of story I normally flock to, I think it’s an important book in today’s society and I’m excited to see what this creative team can do with such a heavy subject. Let’s see how they do in this third issue.

Explain It!

Having decided to run for governor of Alabama, Missy Deveraux is on the campaign tour. The issue starts with her addressing the recent riots and attacks started in the wake of Amber Eaton’s attack on a police precinct, which left one cop dead. Missy is very forward in her stance on these attacks: they will not be tolerated. While the interviewer gives counterpoints, such as these attacks possibly being reactions to the outdated views and stances by the government, Missy is firm in her stance that these incidents need to be stopped.

In Oakland, at one People’s Liberation Front base of operations, Amber and some of her team are watching the interview live on TV. Her crew is afraid that the message being sent is for cops to kill them on sight, labeling them as terrorists. Instead of running and hiding, Amber decides to put out a communiqué, telling anyone who stands on the same side as them to fight, and warning the “fascist police state that rules” that they are criminals and will be judged as criminals.

Before she drops off the tape, Nikki Lau stops by her house in Chinatown to talk to her mom. Nikki is the daughter of Johhny Lau, a character from the original series that died because of his delusion that he had super powers. Nikki tells her mom that she is going to fight with Amber and basically tells her that she knows she is probably going to die.

In Baltimore, former Civil Defense Corps member Ersine Wells AKA Secret Agent, goes looking to talk to Jason Fisher. Ersine wants Jason to help bring in Amber so that people can stop dying. Not only will this stop some deaths, but it might help Jason get back on the good side of the people that are chanting at him calling him a sellout for helping white cops. Jason isn’t having any of it though and kicks this guy out.

So, all of this eventually leads to a rally with Missy delivering a speech saying that she will fight back against the people resorting to violence. Midway through her speech, a man in the cloud bursts into flames (think Human Torch) and starts hurling fireballs at Missy. She gets away and her security tries to stop this guy but don’t stand a chance. Jason eventually shows up, but he’s too late and the guy is long gone. Ersine is there already and he tells Jason that this is obviously Amber’s doing. The words “All Power to the People” are still burning on the wall in an alley near the stage, and the issue ends with Ersine telling Jason that Amber is the one that put it there.

Now I’m not going to sit here and fake the funk by saying that this is the type of comic book that appeals to me personally and that it’s a perfect issue because of the subject matter that it deals with. But I’m also not going to say that it’s the worst comic I’ve ever read. Coming into each issue, I know that it is meant to make a reader like me, someone that hasn’t really dealt with much discrimination in my life, uncomfortable. And that is okay.

This book is not shy about the subject matter that it tackles and I think it should be commended for that. It may not be my cup of tea, but I can still see the value in this series as a whole. It’s telling a fairly interesting, multidimensional story while spending a lot of time developing the characters and setting up the rest of the story moving forward. That being said, this issue was very slow paced and almost entirely set up until the little bit of excitement at the end. I still think the potential for a good story is there, but I am going to need more progression moving forward.

Bits and Pieces:

This book just isn’t something that appeals to me as a comic book reader. I think the art is great and the characters are really interesting, but I just prefer some fun from my comics. I think there is a good story forming here, but I’d like to see it pick up the pace a little bit. While the subject matter being addressed is important to talk about, the story surrounding that is taking a while to get up to speed and hasn’t yet grabbed me or given me that “I need to read the next issue right now” feeling.


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