Comics: Martha Washington leads revolutionWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Few comic book writers or artists rise to superstar status within the industry — to witness two such luminaries on one project is a rare thing. One of those sainted projects is being collected in one volume for the first time by Dark Horse Comics and should be cause for celebration among discerning comic fans: “The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-First Century.”
Paul Shiple of The Game Room zeroed in on the hefty tome as his pick of this week’s offerings, describing it as “a massive 600-page dystopian political satire brought to you by Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons. This coming of age story follows the life of Martha Washington, a young African-American woman, who attempts to survive in a fractious and polarized United States of the future. Highly recommended.”
Miller is, of course, the creator of the infamous “Sin City” and the legendary “Dark Knight Returns.” Gibbons’ place in comic book history was cemented by his artwork for a little project known as “Watchmen.” Separately, these two guys rocked the comic industry with their previous work; when they got together on “Martha Washington,” they created something truly special … and the kind of narrative that demands examination and slow savoring.
This collection brings together stories of the titular character ranging from 1990 to 2007, including three miniseries and three one-shots. Martha’s tales are fascinating, yet also horrifying, existing in one of those science fiction futures that’s often-times a bit too familiar for comfort; there are also echoes of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” here for those of a conservative bent. This isn’t a pretty picture of the years to come, yet Miller and Gibbons make it wonderful to digest. It’s a pricey book, but it’s an investment that will reward you every time you pick it up.
This week also sees the arrival of a minor footnote in comic history called “Superman” No. 700. If you’re so inclined, you can put it on the shelf next to the previously released “Batman” No. 700 and the upcoming “Wonder Woman” No. 600.