Power Man #23
Issue(s): Power Man #23
...and then getting shot at by a shotgun-wielding mother pushing her baby cart...
...i was pretty amazed.
Now i know that these types of things, or plans for them, have cropped up for years, so this story was probably more topical than predictive. And i'm not saying that those attracted to Glenn Beck's project would shoot a black guy or a hippie on sight. And this is a comic book, and a one-and-done story, so everyone's going to come out looking like a caricature. But even allowing for all of that, it's still pretty resonant.
The leader of the city turns out to be Gideon Mace...
...and while he's definitely the right guy for the role, it's a little disappointing to see that he's got a cynical view of things. He considers the citizens of Security City to be sheep that he'll mold into a personal army. I think he still holds to his political views, but at the same time i'd rather that he wasn't so disparaging of the people that joined him in his vision. D.W. rigs an audio system so that the people hear what Mace is saying about them, and they riot, leaving Luke and D.W. free to escape.
I think it would have been cooler if Mace was a true-believer, and was left in charge of his little city, a status quo from which future stories could be developed.
In response to complaints about the book's title change from Hero For Hire to Power Man, it's said that the book was nearing cancellation and that the title change was a way to keep the book alive but they didn't intend to change the book's contents. While appearances by Iron Man and the original Power Man, and the upcoming Black Goliath/Circus of Crime story may suggest otherwise, generally i think they were right and there isn't much of a difference (it's not like Cage didn't fight Marvel characters in the HFH days. Dr. Doom?) In any event, there's no arguing that the plot of this issue isn't unique, but its politics demonstrate that the book isn't simply becoming a straightforward super-hero title.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I had very similar views upon reading this story. I, too, would have prefered Mace as a "true believer" (but to be fair, the precedent had been set by him betraying his men in his first appearance). And Mace was defeated a little too easily compared to last time, but he's still one of the best villains.
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | May 2, 2013 1:42 PM
I agree that Mace truly believing in the project would be better for the character, but Marvel (and comics publishers in general) usually would bring up controversial subjects, tie them in with a villain, and quickly tell the reader the villain was only exploiting the people. It's not too dissimilar from your comments on white supremacist groups being funded by the Communists (or in one case, black militants funded by the Red Skull). It's a cheap way to bring up a subject, give it just some credence, but point any negatives not to the people themselves, but to whatever bad guy is doing it for reasons totally unrelated.
Posted by: Chris | May 2, 2013 10:52 PM
"Greim Road" refers to Martin Greim, a longtime fanzine writer/publisher.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 4, 2013 5:48 PM
An artistic mistake to be noted in the fourth scan: Gideon Mace slugs Cage with his mace-covered left hand. In the next panel, Mace stands over Cage with the mace on his right hand, which is in line with the character's original design.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | January 13, 2018 11:39 PM
Reading the comments from fnord and kveto, and having re-read the story myself, this does have the feel of a hybrid of Orwell and Galt's Gulch, as well as a Trump-era satire/parable.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | January 13, 2018 11:50 PM
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