Review: Freedom Fighters #11
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Robert Venditti
Art: Eddy Barrows & Eber Ferreira
Colors: Adirano Lucas
Letters: Andworld Design
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Uncle Sam goes head to head with the robotic Overman, while Black Condor and Phantom Lady return to assist their teammates, Human Bomb and Doll Woman.
Freedom Fighters #11 unequivocally demonstrates the power of the idea behind Freedom in America. It should be obvious, but this is an ideal that is interpreted in different generations. Uncle Sam represents the ideal…and, in Freedom Fighters #11, Sam represents both the ideal and the modern interpretation of the ideal.
It’s always been this way, it’s always been the demonstrable incarnation of “freedom,” but history provides the perspective that it’s not always been accessible to everyone in America. The most important aspect is that, it IS an ideal, and it is IS accessible to everyone. Despite whatever political hegemony may be in power, the notion of freedom is perpetual, and intrinsic in the hearts and minds of EVERYONE. Freedom Fighters #11 channels this and it shows as an “average” American pronounces the identity of the “freedom fighter” in the issue.
It’s important to note that the rest of the team leaves Sam to battle Overman on his own. They understand that Sam is the embodiment of the ideal of American Freedom, and that he will succeed or fail based on the belief of the American people. That Black Condor and Phantom Lady understand this shows their faith in the Ideal. It means a lot coming from an African American and a woman whose father was part of the Third Reich.
One pertinent moment that strikes a chord is when the robotic Overman describes his previous encounter with a Plastic Man, obviously referencing, the original- Eel O’Brien. There’s an odd confluence here, as the anecdote conjures up classic Eel O’Brien in an incarnation far less serious than the current title. However, at the same time it’s a wonderful call back to the original Quality Comics of the 1940’s. Plastic Man is one of the few Golden Age characters not created by Marvel Comics or DC Comics that is still recognizable today.
If there’s a negative here, it feels as if things have sped up to the point that next month’s finale will be tough to deliver in a single issue. How can the FF defeat the Nazis completely in only one issue? That may not be the content of Freedom Fighters #12. It’s curious, because just last issue, it felt like there wasn’t enough time to complete the idea.
There’s no doubt that if you’ve been following along for the first issues that this issue is a must issue. However, the notion of freedom is such a universal concept, that I believe ANYONE could enjoy this issue and be intrigued by the greater concept of “freedom.” It’s one of those things that comes along periodically that appeals to numerous people. Freedom is not relegated to the American experience. Freedom is a concept that almost everyone can relate to. This is the true “magic” of this title. It’s not ONLY about America, but rather about the concept of Freedom, the same Freedom which America’s Founding Father’s felt over 200 years ago. Freedom Fighters goes far beyond the basic scope of the average comic. At times it’s subtle and at times it’s bashing the reader in the face. Venditti and company continue to challenge the reader in an exploration of the concept of Freedom.