August 13, 2003

Well, since civilization as we know it is on the brink of collapse here in California, I've decided to take the Emperor Nero approach. Rather than lamenting that Mr. Universe is about to be handed the reigns of the 5th largest economy in the world (because, hey, how can you not like "Hercules In New York", right?), I'm just going to whistle past the Golden State's grave and give a review of a comic book.

Of course, that's not entirely true, is it?

This week's top pick is Stormwatch:Team Achilles #14, written by progressive gadfly and former Special Forces soldier Micah Wright.

So, for starters, here's a little background on the title:
In this fictional universe, superpowered beings (SPBs) are everywhere, and they think they own the place. Some think they're heroes, others just don't give a hoot, but, on the whole, they're making a mess of things. So, the United Nations created Stormwatch, an elite military force made up of a bunch of former covert ops specialists and a handful of SPBs on the UN payroll designed to police these supermen. And, considering that most superheroes just know how to hit each other really hard, they really don't stand a chance against a team with military tactical skills.

But, the story gets more interesting because the United States government views superhumans as the next arms race, and doesn't like the UN interfering. So Stormwatch has effectively found itself engaged in a secret war with the right wing reactionary forces in our government. So far, the US has tried to assassinate members of the general assembly, while Stormwatch has kidnapped a racist American senator and replaced him with a shape-shifting SPB who's using all of his floor votes to dump billions of taxpayer dollars onto HBCs and the United Negro College Fund. Crazy stuff.

This issue, the best so far in the series, introduces Citizen Soldier, a thinly veiled Captain America analogue, who is so dedicated to the American Dream that he's decided to completely destroy the country to protect it.

Check the preview of the first 6 pages, then check it out at your local comic shop, where you can also get the trade paperback that collects the 1st six issues of the series in one volume.
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