(Black Mask Studios, 2013)
Review by Brad Gischia
Creator/Writer – Matt Miner
Art – Javier Sanchez Aranda
Colors – Joaquin Pereyra
Letters/Edits – Vito Delsante
*Caution, moderate spoilers
Greetings from the Wasteland,
Does another Wednesday loom already? Are you looking for something new to pick up on NCBD? Look no further. Liberator #1, “Rage Ignition”, will be on the stands.
The first of a four-part series focuses on Damon, a disinterested barista, who spends his off time in the endless battle against animal cruelty, specifically the rescue of fighter dogs.
Damon uses a specific breed of non-violent vigilantism in precision strikes against those who would and do harm animals. He is completely off the radar and behind the scenes, sticking to night strikes and keeping a low profile. There are clues in the story that hint at a troubled past which drives him onward.
Jeanette is a political activist, fighting the same battle in a public arena, a media flash-bang who isn’t afraid to chain herself to an ancient oak tree or splatter red paint on a rich woman’s mink. The friendship is budding in the first story, but as the cover advertises, it looks to become a partnership.
The book manages to be entertaining while informative and takes a serious look at a subject that seems to have fallen out of the public eye as of late. Miner’s narrative is well thought out and precise, paired nicely with Aranda’s artwork, which captures the horror of fur farms and thrusts it onto the page and into your eyeballs weather you want it to or not.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that behind this book, behind a good story about people trying to help animals, is a hero himself. Matt Miner has spent years doing animal rescue, a fact evidenced by his three dogs and three cats, all rescues, and the people and organizations that backed him for the Liberator project. Mr. Miner’s passion for the subject cannot be denied. F. Fang interviewed him for Bag and Bored in December of 2012, to promote the Liberator Kickstarter. Obviously it was a success, with such backers as the bands Bad Religion and the Descendants, as well as numerous animal rights backers such as DARTT (Defending Animal Rights Today and Tomorrow) and NAALPO (North American Animal Liberation Press Office). There were also numerous independent backers, all of whom are listed at the back of the book.
Extra articles appear at the end of the book. The first spotlights the Animal Liberation movement by Nicoal Sheen and Greg Kelly. The second, by Toni Phillips, warns against the dangers of BSL, or Breed Specific Legislation, which targets certain dogs for extermination based solely on the breed. Both are informative and compelling.
I think it is all best summed up by Damon in the final panel, “…sometimes evil is doing nothing in the face of atrocity.” It is a quote that means a little more when placed so near in important issue. So do something to help. Go to your local comic shop and pick up Liberators #1. Not only will you be picking up a good comic, but you’ll be helping a good cause as well.
*To see the original F. Fang interview go to http://bagandbored.net/category/liberator/
*Copies of Liberator #1 are available in comic shops and online at Blackmaskstudios.com
Follow Brad Gischia on Twitter: @comicwasteland