15 February 2007

More Uncle Sam & the Freedom Fighters, Please


Newsarama has an interview with Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters co-writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray that includes some commentary on the evolution of the mini-series from Grant Morrison's initial revamp of the characters -- with no credit given to Will Eisner, Lou Fine, Arthur Peddy, Paul Gustavson, Len Wein or Dick Dillin for the original creations -- to the story I've been enjoying far beyond my expectations when it was previewed in Brave New World.

Justin Gray: It's interesting how the series has evolved behind the scenes. Two years ago we started working with a blueprint developed by Grant Morrison. We had character foundations and a series of plot lines that he put together, but as we began to live with these new Freedom Fighters, things began to evolve in different ways.

...rolling into the second issue we began making significant changes to the direction of the book and the characters. Jimmy and I knew we'd have to make people pay attention because the team itself wasn't going to be a huge draw. Ray Terrill and Miss America became a big part of that plan. The one thing we had working in our favor was the connection to legacy characters and with that we hoped to draw the attention of JSA fans. Another part of the plan was to give Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters a unique voice and style, something to separate it from other team books. When your lead character is Uncle Sam, you might as well go over the top in terms of story ideas and villains. That's why we took Grant's idea of Gonzo and pushed him in a different direction.
My review of the first issue noted the surface similarities to Civil War, crediting Graymiotti for "doing more with less" and hoping that it might fulfill its potential by the end, and with one issue left to go, I'd say it has done that and more. Great ensemble cast with solid character development; good old fashioned fisticuffs; a nice balance of real-world and DCU political ideology; distinctive artwork; a genuine sense of consequence; separate but not completely removed from the primary DCU.

I plan to do a full review when the mini-series is completed, but Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters and American Way are two of the best superhero comics DC has published over the past few years, far surpassing the overhyped likes of Civil Crisis, et al.

So, yeah, more Uncle Sam & the Freedom Fighters, please!

2 comments:

Loren said...

I totally agree with you about Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters. To me, this was Civil War done right. I really hope that DC continues this series. I have no idea how sales have been, but I absolutely love it.

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Sales have been decent considering the low-profile characters and creators involved (#6 came in at 101 on December's sales chart with approx. 23k copies sold), and Graymiotti did manage to get the Heroes for Hire ongoing after doing similar numbers with their Daughters of the Dragon mini, so a follow-up is certainly possible.

I suspect DC will be tracking the TPB sales pretty closely; if they're smart, they'll do some advance promotion to boost media coverage and initial sales, perhaps playing off of Marvel's mainstream promotional efforts for Civil War.