Dynamite Entertainment continues its thrilling series introducing the new generation of villains into the Project Superpowers Universe. Last time, we met Bloodlust, a femme fatal with a thirst for the Green Lama’s blood. This time we meet The Revolutionary, and he’s not exactly waving the flag in support.

PSPBadGuys02_COVER.jpgAt the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, DC, The Revolutionary has arrived. Leaving piles of bodies in his wake, his grim, cigar smoking countenance sits surveying the aftermath of his rampage. As a heavily armed team of special forces bursts in, he simply stands and makes a few smart remarks as they unleash metal jacketed fury against him. This Revolutionary is one bad customer, and he is out to show America the error of its ways.

Elsewhere, the ghostly, cloaked figure of Ben Carter, aka the Fighting Yank, resides in his ancestral home.  He thinks back on the curse he bears and the legacy that accompanies it. At one time, this was a living man. He was a hero of the first caliber, until he turned on his friends and imprisoned them in Pandora’s Urn.  Years later, when he realized that he was duped into serving another and that everything was not as it seemed, he gathered his remaining comrades and set bout to unleash the Urn imprisoned heroes onto the world once again. This was all chronicled in the first Project Superpowers series. Now, after the events of that series, he is dead but continuing to fight the good fight with his mystical cloak.

But his spirit is not at rest, even as he continues to redeem himself. The American Spirit, that disembodied flag which literally is the manifestation of America, arrives to tell him of the Revolutionary. He describes the Revolutionary as a new patriot, one who serves the flag, but is at odds with the world around him. The American Spirit tells Carter that he must seek him out, their destinies are tied together.

Meanwhile, the Revolutionary is continuing his rampage through Washington, with the military hot on his heels. As the Fighting Yank arrives, he realizes that his power lend themselves to more of a defensive stance, and sets about to protect the soldiers. He must do something, and when he finally raises his hands against The Revolutionary, it makes him look as himself, and his adversary, in a completely different light.

The overall reception of the Project: Superpowers Universe has been as wide ranging as the opinions on any subject you can pick. Some love the concept, others see it as rehash of the same old tired themes. Personally, I enjoy the concept. While I may not care for some of the updates made to some characters, I think that recycling the old heroes has merit and as long as the story in interesting there is no reason to stop.

And interesting this issue is. Plotted by Alex Ross and Joe Casey, Casey also handles the script duties on this title. His scripting is handled well, and each character has a different “voice”, which is important to the feel of a title. The explanations we get on the new character, The Revolutionary, are not as detailed as we received on Bloodlust last issue, but it seems to fit the character more. The Revolutionary is not exactly your run of the mill bad-boy anarchist, and there are strong hints that he may be more mystical in nature than flesh and blood. I do have a few issues with him as a character, but I’ll address those in a moment. Overall, the writing was well handled. A new character was introduced, and at the same time we set up future conflicts for the protagonist, and tied him to his new antagonist at the same time.

The interior art is beautiful. I have not really seen a Project: Superpowers title that did not have top notch art, and this installation is no exception. Mike Lilly lays out some truly spectacular art for this issue, and I believe that he and Ivan Nunes are a team to watch. Mike Lilly’s layouts and art, as dynamic as they are, seem to come to life when paired with Ivan Nunes’ colors. Favorite panel, the second page plash that shows a seated Revolutionary as he looks over his carnage. There is some irony there, as I was reminded of the Lincoln Memorial, except bloodier. The art is a big selling point on this title. The Alex Ross cover also was stunning, as it hinted at theme of the new overtaking the old. Priceless. As was the two page origin of The Fighting Yank. These origin spreads seem to have become a regular thing in the PS Universe, and I personally enjoy it.
Doug Klauba does some praise worthy work, and every installment is visually stunning.

Now, with all this praise, you would think that I absolutely loved this title. Well, I enjoyed it, I really did. I just had a few problems that tainted that joy. First off, with it being set in Washington at the Federal Reserve, and given the current state of the PS Universe, I would have expected at least one of the President’s superpowers to have made an attempt to stop The Revolutionary. Unless it happened off panel or this title is set at a different time, we never saw it. It just sort of drew me out of the story setting that has been established with the other series. The design of the new character, again Alex Ross, was stunning, and the look was shocking and ghostly. I thought the circle of stars, recalling the original colonies and the flag, was great and the clothing fit the character as well. But, here is my problem with how it was interpreted. The Revolutionary, with his cigar smoking, pale skin, and motorcycle, reminded me of a certain pale skinned, motorcycle-riding, cigar loving bad boy at the another large comic company. With that similarity in mind, did we have to accent it with a speech pattern and dialogue that just scream Czarnian? I just think that a slightly different direction could have been taken and made an even more compelling character. I understand the concept of anarchy and violent revolution, but this was a little bit stereotypical. Maybe this is part of the characters journey, as hinted at by the American Spirit, but it still seems a little much.

As I said, I did enjoy the story as it was presented, but a closer look dampened that enjoyment. I would like to see more of The Revolutionary, and wonder if The Fighting Yank will conscience for the character, but only time will tell. A fun ride that had some faults on closer inspection, I’m going with a 2.5 out of 5 on this one. Maybe time will justify a higher score, but right it is just an average story that hints at the possibilities it could reach.


The Author

Stacy Baugher

Stacy Baugher

Back in February of 2008, Stacy Baugher wrote his first article for Major Spoilers and started a solid run of work that would last for over two years. He wrote the first series of Comic Casting Couch articles as well as multiple Golden Age Hero Histories, reviews and commentaries. After taking a hiatus from all things fandom he has returned to the Major Spoilers fold.

He can currently be found on his blog, , were he post progress on his fiction work as well as his photography and life in general, and on Twitter under the handle @stacybaugher . If you're of a mind, he also takes on all comers with the under the Xbox Live Gamertag, Lost Hours.

He currently lives in Clinton, Mississippi with his understanding wife, and two kids.

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  1. Jacin B
    October 7, 2009 at 8:34 am — Reply

    You didn’t mention why Lobo painted stars on his chest, or why he’s running over a vanishing Alan Scott.

  2. October 7, 2009 at 8:45 pm — Reply

    It’s called “Alex Ross uses the same models for everything,” Jacin. Come over to the Dark Side, and we’ll analyze Kingdom Come and mock Magog together.

  3. Jacin B
    October 8, 2009 at 8:40 am — Reply

    Either way, you’d think he could at least bother to changing costumes.

    I mean, sure, he dropped the Lantern off of the front of Alan’s shirt and gave Lobo that spiffy hat and those nifty bloody stars, but other than those two minor changes these have to be the most unoriginal character designs I’ve seen in a long time.

    If anyone but Alex Ross would’ve as blatantly ripped off two DC character’s looks, Warner Bros.’ lawyers would be on the phone with a cease-and-desist before the ink dried.

    I don’t care what origin story you give someone, if you make them short and hairy and put them in blue and yellow spandex with three metal claws popping out of their hands as they chew on a stogey, it ain’t original.

    • October 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm — Reply

      Pretty sure it’s intentional… If you look at his designed for Captain Future, it’s a Marve-ous duplicate of another famous Captain of years gone by…

  4. October 8, 2009 at 3:06 pm — Reply

    Okay, okay, I get the point! You all don’t like Ross’s original work!

    Dang! LOL

    I did mention the whole thing about the Revolutionary being the long lost love child of Lobo and the Spirit of ’76, but I just tried to do it a little more diplomatically.

    And as far as Fighting Yank is concerned, I really did not see the Alan Scott thing until you guys mentioned it. I disliked the design because it was boring. Now I keep picturing the old man with blonde hair.

    But in regards to the story, I think that Revolutionary may have been meant to be introduced as more of a corporeal spirit type character. The Elemental Representation of the American Spirit if you will. I just thought that it wa stereotypical to assign all anarchist the same type of attitude. One of the definitions of anarchy is a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government. Not all anarchist have to be romber stomper characters, do they?

    • Jacin B
      October 8, 2009 at 3:52 pm — Reply

      Au contrare! I think the point is that we don’t like Ross’ unoriginal original work.

    • October 8, 2009 at 8:28 pm — Reply

      He looks remarkably like Marvel’s old Spirit of ’76 character, as well…

    • SarcasmKid
      October 9, 2009 at 12:12 am — Reply

      Actually, I still don’t see the Yank as Alan Scott. When dealing with these public domain characters, the one who best fit the description of alternate Alan Scott was the Ghost (not the pilot, the one from Terra Obscura who was later called “the Green Ghost)

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