Monday, April 5, 2010

The Return of Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam is Back?So DC did something cool last week - or at least they *may* have...for within pages of Blackest Night 8, there was one panel with, lo and behold, Uncle Sam in it.

Now, I don't think he's been officially MIA, but wasn't the last time we saw Uncle Sam in Final Crisis when he was declared CORRUPTED? (Which strikes me as quite the clever meta-commentary by Grant Morrison, if indeed that's what it was...)

Prior to that, Uncle Sam was in the (imo) horrible Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti. I think that only lasted, what? 7 issues? This was (for the most part) not the same Freedom Fighters reintroduced back during the Bronze Age, but felt more like an Authority knockoff, only about 8 years too late to really capitalize on that whole gravy train.

Before US&TFF, the original DC versions of the Freedom Fighters (as introduced by Len Wein and Dick Dillin back in Justice League of America 107) were decimated as part of events leading up the Infinite Crisis - one of those random acts of Superhero Snuff that DC seems to like to use at the drop of a hat.

I wonder if Uncle Sam's appearance in a Blackest Night 8 (a comic that had a huge fan service ending) might be a sign that he might get another shot at a series that would be more befitting the character? Here's an idea - take James Robinson off of JLA (which doesn't seem like a good fit for him ,does it?) and put him on a The Golden Age or New Frontier type of project with the Freedom Fighters. I don't know if that combination would really work, but it's worth a shot.

Enjoy today's free comics!

[ National 28 ]

[ Police Comics 10 ]


GACN said...

You've posted two gems here. Whatever DC decides to do with Uncle Sam, I hope that it is something fun. I wish that a few more of today's writers were sophisticated enough to understand the times that the Uncle Sam archetype came. James Robinson would be wonderful on the character. While a top class creator such as Ed Brubaker would indeed create a good story using Uncle Sam, that story would get muddled by the current partisan sad sack mentality of politics he is displaying on Captain America, and miss the opportunity to craft something fun. I think that Mark Waid would do a wonderful job also.

Jim Shelley said...

Yeah, I hear what you are saying about Brubaker - I on the fence about him. I tend to think you are might be right that Mark Waid would be the better choice - I wouldn't mind seeing what someone like Dwayne McDuffie could do with the character either.

Here's an idea sure to make a lot of people mad...what if the current Uncle Sam was regenerated into the form of an elder black man - with the explanation that he physical presence is always a reflection of the current President? He's been white in the past because our president was white, but now...

GACN said...

Jim I would love to see it go a step further -- how about Uncle Sam appearing to people along the lines in which they view the nation. A theme could be his constant struggle to control how he is viewed. To some he appears as a Black fellow, to some a Native American, to others still he resembles the Statute of Liberty (ala the USA character from Quality). The challenge for him is to not let these constantly fluxing transformations stop him from trying to do what is at the core of his being; what is right. Imagine what Geffen could do with this comedically. Such a theme could add a twist to the Vertigo mini that Darnall and Ross put together in 1998, but employ some transnational notices wrestling with how the character is also viewed worldwide. It could be very juicy.

bchat said...

"how about Uncle Sam appearing to people along the lines in which they view the nation. A theme could be his constant struggle to control how he is viewed ... to some a Native American,"

Who exactly would Uncle Sam be appearing as a Native American to? Certainly not Native Americans, as I can't imagine they think too highly of the US government in general, which is what, to them, "Uncle Sam" represents. If anything, Native Americans would probably view "Uncle Sam" as some sort of evil conqueror, not as "one of them".

GACN said...

bchat, that is the idea. That would be a pretty cool twist on things, right? :-)


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