|The new "Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters" miniseries begins September 26|
With a leader akin to baseball and apple pie, one might think Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters would be considered America's Team, but the icon-heavy heroes keep adding snips and snails to mom's favorite recipe, which leaves a bad taste in the mouths of some of the World's Finest.
And, let's be honest, that's what makes them so much fun.
Originally introduced in "National Comics" #1 in 1940 by industry legend Will Eisner, the current incarnation of Uncle Sam was born for the 2006 miniseries "Crisis Aftermath: The Battle for Bludhaven." Coming this September from DC Comics is a new eight-issue limited series, "Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters," the brainchild of creator Grant Morrison, artist Renato Arlem ("Hawkgirl," "Annihilation: Silver Surfer"), and the über-powered writing duo of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, who with fingers pointing told CBR News that They Want You to buy the book and make it an ongoing title.
"Think of the Freedom Fighters as the People's heroes," Justin Gray told CBR News. "If the people want more then they'll need to turn out in big numbers for the trade and this new miniseries. For those worried that this book is dependent on 'Countdown' or 'Amazons Attack,' you can relax. Those events are taking place around the book and while we might touch on them for a sense of scope, inside we're more concerned with building a solid, entertaining and sometimes controversial story about a unique band of superheroes."
|2006's "Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters" trade paperback on sale this week|
Gray said what draws him to the Freedom Fighters is that unlike some other superhero teams, Uncle Sam and his crew have some blemishes and aren't afraid to "pop a zit" for all to see every once in a while. "I love this team and I feel like Grant, Jimmy and I helped re-define them thirty years after the first series as a modern, if not troubled, superhero team unlike any other in the DCU," Gray explained. "We're able to blend politics, fantasy, action and adventure with a touch of strangeness that is very specific to this group of heroes. They each have a well-defined personality and purpose without the continuity baggage you get with other superhero books. There's a sense of telling folktales in a modern setting."
|The current team|
According to Palmiotti, the series is a "good jumping-on point" for any new readers not familiar with the Freedom Fighters. "We bring the readers up to date on the world around them right away," Palmiotti promised.
"This is our chance to get the readers hooked on how cool these characters are and not to have to worry about a ton of continuity like they did in the first mini series," added Palmiotti.
Striking a Che Guevara-style pose on artist Dave Johnson's cover for "Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters" #1, Uncle Sam looks like he is ready to start a revolution in DCU. Yet another reason to find the icon compelling, says Gray: "Sam is a mythical hero, a timeless and iconic figure. He's a folk hero based on a larger myth than any other in comics. He's a grandfatherly figure, powerful and wiser than many of the people he encounters."
Without giving too much away, Gray revealed that the events in this series would have a direct impact on the evolution of Red Bee as a character.
So Red Bee is in. Who else will be answering roll call?
"The gang is back," Gray confirmed, "including Phantom Lady, who has some big problems to deal with, Red Bee who undergoes a metamorphosis, The Ray is back, Doll Man has a limited role, Happy Terrill, Black Condor the team's resident bad ass, Firebrand the political activist and Miss America is a S.H.A.D.E. field leader. There will be a few more surprises along the way."
Also non-committal on a favorite, Justin Gray proved to be a bit of a ladies' man himself. "I'm having a lot of fun with Phantom Lady's story and Red Bee, of course," Gray admitted. "Hopefully this series will ignite enough excitement to warrant an ongoing so we can continue to build on the mythology of these wonderful heroes."
As far for a re-appearance Father Time, the creative team says wait and see.
"Can't say just yet," said Gray.
"Why ruin the fun," echoed Palmiotti. "But expect the unexpected."
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