[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: John Ridley
Artists: Georges Jeanty, John Livesay, & Nick Filardi
Tensions have risen to an all time high! Amber’s message was delivered to the people, thanks to Nikki, Amber’s sister in arms. Enraging them against the government that his lied to them and has turned it’s back on the people and the super-human’s that it created. After a young, super-powered boy attacks Ole’ Miss at a political rally, the government is up in arms and hunting him with force.
After finally coming to terms with her past, Ole’ Miss contacts Jason so that he can save the young man, and help the next generation of heroes.
All the while, Nikki has been working for the government and given them Amber’s location. They’ve come for her! In true fascist style, they gun Amber down without thought. Nikki revolts and during the struggle, reveals herself to be a super-human, like her father.
As the curtain closes on this generations story, Jason is charged with teaching and leading the heroes of tomorrow. Jason will guide the enraged and disenfranchised, showing them how heroes should act.
John Ridley has done a fantastic job at recreating the civil unrest found in the 70s which also, sadly, echoes the events of today. Jeanty’s style for these comics mimics the look of 70s movie posters. With slightly exaggerated features (Enlarged/shrunken eyes, deep facial lines) the pages are filled with stylized characters that represent the world of The American Way.
Each of the characters readers meet are given an important roll and demonstrate the tension caused in the story. From the three main characters, Ole’ Miss, Amber, & Jason, hating each other due to the past, to Nikki, the daughter of a murder hero, trying to find her way. All of these characters, in their own way, symbolize a part of revolution in a very in your face way, while still being relatable people.
In the dense dialogue and fast action of the scenes, it can be hard to retain every character’s name. I found myself having to look back to find the names of secondary characters so I didn’t get lost in any given conversation.
The American Way: Those Above and Those Below is a fantastic story that captures the essence of the 70s revolutions, while also telling a tale that reverberates with current events in a chilling way.