The American Way: Those Above and Those Below: Preview

The American Way, 2016 John Ridley
cover image via DC Comics

Corrina: The American Way: Those Above and Those Below is an excellent and timely comic. It’s set in 1972 but it speaks to us in 2017.

Written by 12 Years a Slave Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley, with pencils by Georges Jeanty, and inks by Danny Miki, this series is the type of comic story that, unfortunately, isn’t published often enough. The concept? Members of a former superhero team created by the American government as propaganda are now on their own. Some want to still be heroes and others simply want to be left alone.

I could wish DC Comics had done more to promote this series, as the issue that arrived on my doorstep was my first indication it existed but Newsarama reports that DC has doubled the orders on the first issue, which should allow those without pull lists to grab a copy. You won’t find it listed at DCComics.com, however. Instead, all information is at Vertigo Comics.

Ray: Seconded to everything Corrina said above. This is a fascinating comic with a strong, original cast that leaps off the page from the first issue. It’s a sequel to the original miniseries, but due to a significant time jump, it’s very easy to jump right in. The original superhero genre is a tricky one – not only do two companies have a near-monopoly on the genre, but the bar to make an impact with an original – Astro City, Black Hammer, Watchmen – is so high. Ridley, however, has a unique take that delivers 100%. A must-read for fans of Ridley’s previous work or any of the books I mentioned previously.

But instead of writing a review to convince you, we’re including a sample of the first issue so it can speak for itself.

The American Way, page 6, 2017
Page 6, Image via DC Comics
page 7, The American Way #1
Page 7, image via DC Comics
The American Way #1, Vertigo
page 8, image via DC Comics
The American Way #1, Vertigo Comics
page 9, image via DC Comics
The American Way #1, John Ridley
page 10, image via DC Comics

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Reviewer, comic book writer, and the author of Alex Actonn, Son of Two Seas - novel available on Amazon now! DC superfan who is loving everything about Rebirth. Feels very strongly about Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown, and Young Justice. Can also be found on Graphic Policy doing sales analysis with Glenn Matchett, and on the Rabbitt Stew Podcast with Glenn and Brandon James.