I was incredibly excited when I first heard about Liberator. This was back when the Kickstarter campaign was still going on. I became a backer so that I could essentially buy all four issues in the mini-series right away, while also supporting a comic book that had everything I was into: animal rights, vigilante justice, awesome badass female character…you get the idea.
The cover art is absolutely beautiful. It really gets the point across right from the start that this isn’t a comic book about traditional super heroes, this isn’t some fanciful story about something that could never realistically happen, this is real life, these are real people taking real action. My favorite part is Jeanette on the cover in her direct action gear. She isn’t hyper sexualized like many women heroes in comics are. As far as anyone can tell, this character could be a real life person (and in fact there are real life women just like her).
It starts out with an intense scene of sabotage. The art is dark and gritty and you really get a feel for just how pissed off the main character is about everything that’s going on. I really liked that they started this with an action scene as it sets the stage for what a comic book should be, a lot of badass action, and what this comic book will be, vigilante justice.
Regarding the art… as much as I like it, there’s just some panels that really throw me off. While most of it is pretty awesome, sometimes I felt myself getting pulled out of the story because the art just didn’t seem right. Luckily that wasn’t all too frequent, but still noticeable.
I’m also not sure if I agree with other reviewers that this comic does shove the animal rights agenda in readers’ faces. It’s hard for me to judge. Personally, I don’t think so. Admittedly though I’m very biased, having been involved in the animal rights effort since I was a little kid. Either way, it’s a truly awesome story and I do feel like people not involved in the movement can still appreciate this comic as an incredible (sort of true) story of vigilante justice.
I definitely already love Jeanette’s character and wished they’d done a bit more with her in this issue, but I suspect my wish will be granted later on. Of course, to be fair, I’d love it if she was the main focus from the start :p But I also think Damon’s character is great and I look forward to seeing how they play with his attitudes in future issues.
There’s this one panel with Jeanette pointing a megaphone right in a cop’s face and a big “Fuck you!” that I admit I would like to have a poster of (sorry to all my friends who are planning on becoming police officers and all the nice police officers out there :p).
I liked the segmentation of direct and non-direct action. I wish more had been done to address how both sides of the equation are necessary but instead it seemed to focus on how Damon’s character had an (understandable) issue with non-direct action. It felt like Jeanette would be working with Damon in the future as a superhero but I also kind of wished they’d keep her in the public eye and keep him behind the scenes. If nothing else, I’d really love to see some more focus on public activism. Whatever happens though, I’m sure it’ll be very interesting to watch events unfold.
I’m also curious to see what’s going to crop up as far as Damon’s past is concerned. His outburst in this issue seemed to hint that there would be some interesting storyline for his character development and I’m looking forward to see how that plays out.
You can tell that activism is a huge part of this comic, which I love. I also love how a lot of it is subtle (the “Free Pussy Riot” graffiti for example) and some of it not-so-subtle. I’m curious to see how other activist topics are going to be included in the future.
There are also some short articles included on animal rights if readers are interested, but they don’t appear necessary for understanding the story, making it completely optional. I would of course recommend reading them as they include information that will enhance the story, even if it isn’t necessary to know what’s going on.
Overall, I freaking loved this comic book! As soon as I get my second issue in the mail, a review of that will be on its way. Until then… the second issue is on shelves now, so you should buy both to catch up and share your take on this series.
- Comic Book Analysis and Review: Liberator #2 (earthfirstnews.wordpress.com)
- Review: Liberator #2 (graphicpolicy.com)
- Advance Review: Liberator #1 from Black Mask Studios (comicsbeat.com)
- Matt Miner Interview (& Exclusive Liberator # 2 Preview) (catywhomp.wordpress.com)