Comic Book Review: Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #3

The Revolution has enjoyed Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters. I think this title has an interesting collection of characters and has plenty of potential. Acuna’s artwork also is a real treat and gives this comic book a nice look. I fully expect Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #2 to be another solid read. Let’s do this review

Creative Team
Writers: Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Daniel Acuna

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: The issue starts with a flashback to the 1800’s chronicling the American Indian wars and how the Union army devastated the Navajo tribe and took their land. We see a cameo of Jonah Hex. The Navajo believed that condors carried the souls of their dead to their homeland. One brave Navajo climbed the great cliffs surrounding their land and was transformed in the avatar of the condor by Tocotl, the mystical Spider Woman. He then defeated the Union army and saved the Navajo.

We cut to present day. We see John Trujillo climbing the very same cliffs. He meets the mystical Spider Woman. She tells him it is time for a new Black Condor to help rescue America. We then witness John transforming into the Black Condor.

We cut to the Freedom Fighters in the stolen S.H.A.D.E. jet. Phantom Lady doesn’t believe that her father would be supporting S.H.A.D.E. Uncle Sam is about to tell Phantom Lady that he father is dead when he is interrupted by a bunch of S.H.A.D.E. helicopters suddenly appearing. The Ray commences to take out several helicopters. The Freedom Fighter’s ship is hit and Uncle Sam grows super large and jumps out of the plane with Firebrand, Phantom Lady and Doll Man in his arms.

The Human Bomb stays behind in the wounded jet. All the S.H.A.D.E. helicopters surround the jet and then Human Bomb lets loose with a nuclear explosion. The blast wipes out every single helicopter. The Ray then grabs Human Bomb who is standing in a large crater from his explosion and they fly over to the rest of their teammates. Suddenly, a bunch of S.H.A.D.E. jeeps approach them. Human Bomb punches the ground and blows up all of the jeeps. More S.H.A.D.E. jeeps keep coming. We have a big brawl as the other members of the Freedom Fighters start kicking some butt.

Suddenly, a team of metahumans arrive on the scene. They are S.H.A.D.E.’s new team of metahumans called First Strike. Their names are Chief Justice, Spin Doctor, Propaganda and Embargo. (Groan. Those codenames suck.) The teams lock horns and start a big fight. First Strike makes quick work of the Freedom Fighters. First Strike stand triumphant over the fallen bodies of the Freedom Fighters. Suddenly, the Black Condor appears and gets ready to brawl with First Strike.

We cut to Father Time intuiting his plan to employ suicide replicants. We see various replicants who look like normal humans in Gotham, Metropolis and Keystone all preaching support of Uncle Sam. The idea is to have them appear to be suicide bombers working on behalf of Uncle Sam’s “terrorist” Freedom Fighters. Suddenly, the replicants in each city explode like suicide bombers taking out innocent people all around them. Father Time says that this plan should put the final nail in Uncle Sam’s coffin. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #3 was a pretty good issue. This issue was nicely paced. We got plenty of quality action. Gray and Palmiotti deliver some solid dialogue. Gray and Palmiotti are doing a nice job cultivating plenty of chemistry between the various members of the Freedom Fighters.

We also had a bit more character development with regard to the Ray. I liked how Gray and Palmiotti used the Ray’s monologue during the battle with the helicopters to further flesh out his character and help establish his personality. The Ray is an egomaniac who got involved in this line of work for all the sweet perks of being a secret agent like the fine dining and high quality women to have sex with.

I love the new Black Condor. We don’t know much about his personality. However, he looks wicked cool. What a great design. I have a feeling that the Black Condor is going to be a real bad-ass. I can’t wait to see him in action.

I liked the fight scenes. We got to see the Ray and Human Bomb in action. These are probably my two most favorite characters on the team. The Human Bomb is just a stud. He is a great character. He has some scary powers and it will be interesting to see if his teammates ever get comfortable having a walking nuclear bomb around them.

I thought First Strike had some interesting powers. Gray and Palmiotti have a real knack for creating intriguing and unique characters. First Strike is no exception. Of course, given the fact that Gray and Palmiotti aren’t shy about killing off characters, don’t expect the members of this team to make is past the next couple of issues. And that isn’t a bad thing. I don’t mind the willingness to off villains rather than just capturing them and having them escape at some point in the future.

The ending of this issue was rather dramatic. We have the heroic entrance of the Black Condor ready to rescue our fallen heroes. Then we witness Father Time’s dastardly plan to discredit Uncle Sam through the use of suicide replicants. Father Time is ruthless and is willing to do absolutely anything to further his agenda. And that is why I absolutely love his character. I like a villain that views himself as a hero and that all of his actions are totally justified.

Daniel Acuna’s art absolutely kicked ass! I love his heavy lined style. I think his art is extremely vibrant and practically jumps off the page at the reader. It is a bold style that makes for a rather dramatic read. I know his style might be too much for some people, but it definitely isn’t for me.

The Bad: I don’t have that many complaints. This was a solid issue. Plenty of good action and great characters. I did have an issue with the codenames for the members of First Strike. Chief Justice, Propaganda, Embargo and Spin Doctor? C’mon. That is way too over the top. This is the one weakness that Gray and Palmiotti have consistently shown on this title. They tend to get too cute at times. Clearly, they are attempting to bash on the Bush Administration. It is poorly done since all political parties employ propaganda, spin doctors and embargoes.

When Gray and Palmiotti just concentrate on their characters and the action they deliver some flat out fun and exciting stories. However, when they try to get cute with their over the top political jabs, it makes their story look amateurish and a bit silly. These codenames are so doofy. Why would S.H.A.D.E. give codenames to their team members that are clearly negative and would make the public view them as villains? No, S.H.A.D.E. believes that they are the good guys. That they stand for truth, justice and the American way. They simply wouldn’t use overtly negative names like this since it would cause a negative reaction from the American public.

Being cute is rarely a good idea for any writer. Gray and Palmiotti should just stop trying to invoke the spirit of Hunter S Thompson. I love Hunter S. Thompson’s work and believe me, neither Gray nor Palmiotti are Hunter S. Thompson. However, Gray and Palmiotti have great talent and ability to create cool characters and deliver entertaining storylines. They should just stick with that and leave the goofy political commentary alone.

Overall: Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #3 was an entertaining read. I absolutely love these characters. Gray and Palmiotti have done an impressive job creating interesting characters that all have tons of potential. Add Daniel Acuna’s amazing artwork to Gray and Palmiotti’s well paced action filled stories and you get a very fun title to read. I really hope that DC makes this comic a regular ongoing monthly. I certainly would recommend this title to anyone as long as you don’t mind to silly political commentary that surfaces every once in a while.

1 Comments

  1. Let’s see… a group of heroes on the run acting as “freedom fighters” battling the black ops agents of a hideously corrupt over-the-top evil government organization. Wow, this must be DC’s unofficial tie-in to Civil War! We even get a Spider-Woman in this issue. All that’s missing is a Tony Stark-esque character running around acting like Donald Rumsfeld on crack.

    And I imagine that whoever came up with the First Strike members’ codenames is the same P.R. genius who thought having SHIELD operatives call themselves “cape killers” was a good idea 🙂

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