The Other History of the DC Universe is an interesting little project. Part social history, part love letter, part fanfiction – and I don’t mean that derisively. One of the strongest (and depending on who you ask, most problematic) aspects of fan fiction as a medium is the tendency to obsess over the moments where canonical works might cut away. Sometimes this tendency can produce some eye-rolling moments, but the same all encompassing love that inspires someone to write about what Sulu was doing while Kirk and Spock were down on Talos IV, is dripping from every issue of this series. If you pick up nothing else from reading this series it’s that John Ridley absolutely loves DC Comics. [Read more…] about The Other History of the DC Universe Review!
Described by writer Christopher Priest as, “a morality play in five acts” U.S.Agent: American Zealot, follows the adventures of John Walker, the titular U.S.Agent after he’s been booted from the role and demoted to government contractor status. Deployed as a joke, Walker is tasked with securing a top-secret facility hidden beneath a destitute former coal town.
What should be a routine ‘bag and secure’ mission, quickly spirals out of control as Walker is confronted with his estranged younger sister, Kate – lost in the witness protection system after the murder of their parents – now a goverment agent, and April Manning, a billionaire who has used his wealth to purchase himself access to real power: a new iteration of the super-soldier serum and with it, the ability to reshape America into his perfect vision of the country.
The series is framed using the device of residents of Ephraim, West Virginia, being interviewed about the aftermath of John Walker’s visit to the town. Ephraim is a town devastated by the closure of its coal mine. A glimmer of hope arises in the building of a Virago Distribution center (our tale’s Amazon stand-in) – but the conglomerate flies in its workforce and builds its own private power plant. None of the wealth it generates flows back into the community.
Some residents take matters into their own hands and blow up the distribution center’s power plant, unaware of its top secret status. They’re overjoyed when Walker arrives – he’s dressed in the flag, he’s got the shield, he’s Captain America. And they sincerely think he’s going to help them take the fight to the man. [Read more…] about U.S. Agent: American Zealot Review!