Writer: Mark Millar / Artist: Wilfredo Torres / Cover: Frank Quietly / Image Comics
“Superheroes were the summit of American aspiration and so our children grew up to remind mankind of everything we could ever hope to be.”
So we’ve already established that Hoover was the 50’s and 60’s Patriot Act in human form. We’ve established that Sheldon is the unquestioned leader of The Union with George somehow being rich enough to fund any projects they’re working on or pony up as much cash needed in order to keep the heroes powers and loyalty out of the clutches of the evil empire government. Issue #2 gives us more that superhero vs bad guy goodness we look for in a Millar production. From the jump, we’re introduced to a Doom Droid being controlled by a Sinestro in the face ass villain.The team is down and things are looking quite bleak until The Utopian shows up on the scene..as Sheldon Sampson.
Why as his mild mannered alter ego you ask? Because he knows the Droid will be incapable of attacking him as a civilian, being the muscle for an interplanetary slave trader. The oldest profession in the fictional world forces the purple alien to ensure his captives are unharmed and in great condition in order to sell them at top dollar.Once Sheldon has the Gungam subdued, the rest of the team regains their wits and begin to take out the purple people pusher’s fleet of planes. Right before Blue Bolt can join Fitz on the fleet pulverizing mission, he is frozen in thought, as he can’t get his mind off the ultimatum proposed by Hoover.
That’s where shit gets mad real. They wrap up that world saving session and all go back to their normal lives. Unfortunately, Richard’s normal life is frowned upon by most and pushes him to the brink. He knows he cannot snitch and reveal his team’s true identities, he can’t come out and ruin the lives of his family and friends, he won’t put “some poor broad” through the agony of living a lie and marrying him, so he decides to do the go with the last option he feels he has left.
Amazing job by Mark Millar and Torres showcasing the feeling of helplessness that so may homies in hiding feel, even in today’s (allegedly) accepting society. Hopefully, honest images and vulnerable moments like this help the next generation of kids get over our homophobic hurdles. Who the hell ever wants to find his boy sitting in a pool of blood in his apartment?
We pick up with Richard laid up in a hospital bed with his wrists wrapped up and friends by his side. They console Blue Bolt then let the man rest. Too bad Hoover gives the most miniscule fuck about letting him regain his strength, and runs up on him at the hospital with Special Agent Tolsen by his side. Threats continue. Hoover on some Suge Knight shit.
Unfortunately the issue feels ever so slightly incomplete. After Hoover hung Vanilla Ice over a balcony and threatens to bring down everyone around Richard, we flash forward to the gang mobbin at headquarters as Blue Bolt walks in flashin his pearly whites. They are surprised he is in such high spirits. He tells everyone that the head of the FBI relinquished his attack and sent him the negatives. Nobody asks any questions. Nobody explains a thing. All that happens is Fitz says some sly shit in response to Walter’s digressive gay remark, then we get a flashback of Fitz gettin the dirt on Hoover and Tolsen in the bedroom. Turns out, Fitz may be a family man who’s too paternal to have a long night of drinking, but don’t count him out to handle his business if the homies are in need.
8 out of 10