Freedom Fighters has been a story of patriotism, about fighting when the chips are down, and about a sci-fi future where the Nazi regime reigns supreme. It’s a series that feels pertinent today, but at the same time far fetched, allowing readers to get a little self-reflection in their comics but also some escape. Robert Venditti and Eddy Barrows have done well to capture your hearts and your minds, but Uncle Sam is back — how will he integrate into this new team?
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Uncle Sam, the living embodiment of the American spirit, has been awakened…but will he recognize the country he left behind? Sam has reemerged to discover his beloved nation overrun with fascists and the huddled masses he fought so hard to protect marginalized and under the iron grip of an evil regime mad with power and willing to do ANYTHING to preserve it. Even with the help of the Freedom Fighters, can the spirit of America hope to survive the titanic forces of oppression? Plus: the return of the one Nazi weapon that’s faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than anything the resistance could hope to put in his way: the mighty Overman!
Why does this matter?
What does it mean to be a patriot? That’s a question that I keep trying to answer when reading this series. Is it to fight for what you believe in, or is it something more? This issue aims to continue to answer that question.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens with Uncle Sam kicking Nazi ass and the captions are all about rallying the troops. If you ever heard a person say you should punch a Nazi show them these opening pages. As the story pushes forward it becomes clear this is about who Uncle Sam was when he helped fight for America in the Revolutionary War and into World War II. He was an unstoppable force, but we soon learn something eventually did stop his superhuman abilities. Venditti and Barrows lay out the spirit of ’76 as a force fighting for those who are downtrodden and need help. It’s a strong message and the visuals back them up in a way that’ll make you emotional.
This might be the strongest issue of the series yet. It introduces Uncle Sam’s fight well, progresses the Nazis’ attempts at stopping this superhuman uprising, and has great action too. Barrows dazzles, at times blowing you away with epic visages of incredible machines like the War Wheel, or the Nazi Superman of their own. There’s an interesting use of layout like in a shot of the heroes flying over the city in a ship and below them, the interior of the ship is laid out over the side of a building. It’s a subtle choice that’s creative.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The rest of the heroes continue to be given little character work. Human Bomb gets a moment of heroism, but for the most part, these characters continue to be sitting around fighting the good fight but remaining unexplored.
Is it good?
A great issue that’s filled with action, reveals about a major classic hero, and good progress to the overall plot. If you’ve ever wondered what it means to be patriotic, give this comic a read. It’s an entertaining escape that harbors deeper meaning.