Freedom Fighters #9 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Eddy Barrows, Penciller; Eber Ferreira, Inker; Adriano Lucas, Colorist
Ray – 5/10
Ray: As we enter the final act of this alternate reality maxiseries in Freedom Fighters #9, the message of the story seems to be becoming clear – defeating fascism will take a lot of sacrifices and pain, but most of them will be borne by the anonymous foot soldiers of the revolution, not the heroes.
With Eddy Barrows on art, the visuals have been spectacular from the start – from an up-close torture session of Human Bomb to a massive battle sequence in the work camps of Detroit, it’s an impressively detailed book that is unfortunately filled with unpleasant visuals of torture and murder. The book goes out of its way to make us hate the Nazis – Hitler’s grandson tortures two heroes in sadistic ways in the start of the issue, for instance – but it does little to establish the heroes as worth following. This is probably the biggest-scale issue since the first, with Black Condor leading a massive revolution against Nazi overseers in the Battle for Detroit.
Last issue, which had Black Condor rediscovering his roots and bonding with the fellow captives of the slave city in which he was born, was probably the best of the series. It unfortunately feels like the Battle for Detroit undermines that, with Condor having to go off on a mission while an army of anonymous black men gets gunned down by Nazi foot soldiers.
The master plan of Condor stealing the Plastic Man formula and becoming a shape-shifter who can eventually take the place of the leader of the Reich and shut down the Nazi war machine is clever, but a black man losing his identity to literally become a Nazi isn’t a great visual either. Corrina’s been critical of this series’ politics for a while, and this is the first issue where I agree – for an anti-Nazi story, it seems way too focused on explosions to really explore its gritty concepts and give the resistance the characterization it deserves.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.