It used to be the case that when writers wanted to get political they would use things such as satire or allegory. Now it seems like the average reader’s attention span or intelligence isn’t up to understanding such clever tricks. What we have instead is graphic depictions of genocide but with some superheroes flying round to get our attention. Things have really come to this?
The title is quite misleading. What should be an intellectual showdown between two vastly differing ideologies is instead a half crazed writer punching me in the face screaming “Darfur!” Once again Straczynski has sub-contracted his masterful franchise to someone who has a differing vision for his beloved characters.
I should like this book. There are some clever uses of the timeline making the reader work to follow the story. There are two opposing internal monologues making the reader re-think what they have learned using new information. There is an absolutely worthy news story that needs to be published and in fact shouted from the rooftops. The writer even donates his fee to Darfur relief charities and gives you a bunch of websites to look at to learn more about what is going on there. This is truly a noble cause.
But? It really feels like I have been hoodwinked. This isn’t what I signed up for and if I have to be tricked into something then I’m not going to appreciate it as much as I should. I understand that the original Squadron Supreme in the 1980’s had a theme of superheroes in world politics. If you look at the work Maus, that doesn’t borrow other peoples’ round characters and put them in square holes. It starts from scratch and uses unique characters to tell an important and harrowing story. It works. But maybe the average reader isn’t going to buy two tales of genocide in one lifetime and only by treading on toes could this story be forced to the public attention.
The writer and the cause definitely deserve a Thumbs Up, I just wish there was a better way of getting me to give it to them.
Tomorrow: Union Jack – Ben Raab & John Cassaday PLUS Squadron Supreme: The Pre-War Years [revisited]