Freedom Fighters was one of my favourite comics when I was a kid. I have been a devoted fan ever since, of every incarnation of the team, and the various members. But the one thing I always longed for was to see them on Earth-X, on the world where the Nazis won.
They were introduced that way when the team debuted in Justice League of America. But that two part story saw them, the League and the Justice Society defeat a robot Hitler, and Earth-X was freed from its domination.
There own book saw them travel to Earth-1, and the later incarnations of the group were always in the main universe.
So I was very excited to read the new miniseries, as Robert Venditti, Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira have placed the group back on a Nazi dominated world.
The story introduces the classic line up at the top of the story, but they do not fare very well. The Freedom Fighters are trying to protect Jesse Owens (absolutely loved that touch), but they get defeated by the Nazi Plastic Man. In this part, we even here about the Nazis trying to construct a super computer, which is pretty certainly a reference back to their debut story.
The Freedom Fighters get executed, and then the story advances 55 years. Hitler’s son is now ruling, and a new group of Freedom Fighters has emerged to take on the Nazis.
That’s a darn good set-up, no matter how well this miniseries progresses.
And all indications are that this will play out very well. The art is superb and the writing top notch. The new team members have adopted the same identities as the originals, although Doll Girl replaces Doll Man. I have absolutely no issues with that. Not only does it add another woman to the team, but there actually was a Doll Girl back in 1940s Quality Comics. So please let’s have no right wingers whining about this.
OK, all that has to do with the super hero element of the book, which they get perfectly.
But the other thing that has to be looked at is the politics. No way one can read a comic about the Nazis being in control without reflecting on the dismal state of the world in the past few years. The right wing has risen with a terrifying vengeance, and all the advances in human rights for minorities look to be in danger.
We need to be reminded that sexism, racism, homophobia, and militarism are the great evils that society will always be confronting, it seems. That these battles are never going to end, and we need to be strong and consistent in facing them, if there is ever a chance to defeat them.
By its very nature Freedom Fighters is going to have to address these things. The use of Jesse Owens in the first issue was a wonderful indication that this book is not going to shy away and back down.
This is not only a book I truly enjoyed reading in pure fanboy style, this is a book that looks to be one I can be proud of as well.