Review: Represent! #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Christian Cooper
Artist: Alitha E Martinez
Letters: Rob Clark Jr.
Colors: Emilio Lopez
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
“I can’t breathe…” – George Floyd
I applaud DC, writer Christian Cooper and artist Alitha E Martinez for tackling this story. Everyone that has ever read a comic associated with DC knows the phrase “Look…up in the sky…It’s a bird!” and you simply know the rest.
That phrase has become as iconic as the description that traditionally accompanied Superman in “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”. Whether Cooper designed “It’s a Bird” to used it to reframe our view or if it was used to simply acknowledge he was bird watching, it’s perfect for us as readers.
It also begs the question, what is “The American Way?” As this should be a simple tale of a young man going out to bird watch and complain about the old set of binoculars given to him by his Dad, it gives the reader a glimpse that nothing is as it seems in this day and age.
This comic is more than a story…it’s history…it’s an ignition for conversation..it sparks anger, introspection, and a host of other emotions. As a reviewer, I respect the book, the art, the writing, the message, and the pages that highlighted those lost at the hands of violence.
As an educator, I will use it as I use comics to teach on a variety of levels. As a father, I will use it with my son and daughter to teach them about perceptions, privilege, sociology. As a friend, I will pass it along and I will listen. I am an older white man, and I tell my friends this.
If you go through a neighborhood and only one house is on fire, do you place water on all of the houses? Or do you address the house on fire? DC addresses the house(s) on fire…. well done!
For me, the fact that in the year 2020, this is still an issue. This is an excellent comic to catapult everyone into conversations, action, and changing your paradigm if you are stuck in one.
As an older white man who is a college professor, I challenge you to obtain this comic, use it in your classrooms, at your supper tables, and to speak to your friends. Comics are often used to escape the real world. In this case, use this comic to change the real world!
Well Done DC! Thanks for initiating a spark to teach, to listen and to learn. You would be well served to use this resource.