SPOTLIGHT: CLA$$WAR Makes Cents of the Madness

Ten years ago British-born Rob Williams (Iron Age, Ghost Rider) wrote a love letter to Noam Chomsky called Cla$$war. It was a bitter pill for American readers, but any kind of critical attention to the material shows just how much the writer cares about the American story and the ideals that yet remain. This was the decade of The Authority and Black Summer and The Ultimates, an age when cynical metahumans operated on the government's payroll or lorded over the oval office with a godlike sense of superiority. These were brutal and often nihilistic stories in the post Watchmen age, and as hard a swallow as that pill could be, they rank among the most thoughtful and deeply personal comics in the modern era. 

Cla$$war's claim to fame came in the opening salvo from Williams and artist Trevor Hairsine. In the very first issue, a disheartened superman known as the American storms the White House, snatches the President, and hoists him high up into the sky. There, he broadcasts their encounter, feigns dropping him to the ground below, and uses heat vision to brand the word "LIAR" onto the man's forehead. That this was an obvious caricature of then President George W. Bush ensured the scene was all the more aggressive and pointed in its indictment. 

The American isn't the only metahuman featured in Cla$$war, not nearly. And each of these gifted and jaded super soldiers have different roles within the political landscape and philosophies to match. It's a rich world Williams set up, and he uses it to ask big, important questions. It can often get pretty dark and subversive, the humor often swaying at the gallows. But there's something affectively captivating in the visual of the Lincoln Memorial minus a chunk of its noggin. This isn't a book from the big two, but for something offered by a small publisher like Com.X, this series is staggeringly gorgeous. The first half is illustrated by Trevor Hairsine, while the second comes courtesy of Travel Foreman. These guys deliver. Truly. 

You can grab all six issues of Cla$$war for just $0.99 each on Graphicly. Better than that actually. The first one's free. That's less than five bucks for the whole run. You also have the option of grabbing it all in one go for $8.99. The volume one TP collection gives you the whole series plus an introduction from Andy Diggle, a stunning cover gallery, sketches, and tons of script pages. It's a smart, savage, staggering series, and an important part of the 2000s era of politically minded superhero comics. 

 

Comments

  1. I CAN’T AFFORD THAT

  2. The President has been kidnapped by superhumans.  Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the President?

  3. The was a good first issue, i think i’ll download it when i have time. thanks for the heads up Paul. 

  4. Rob Williams (Ghost Rider, Iron Age) also writes regularly for little-known (or even acknowledged) UK comic 2000AD, now available weekly in the US of A.

  5. Looks amazing.

  6. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Per the Terms of Service, please avoid purely political discussion. Thanks. 

  7. @Firevine  You just blew my mind all the way back to elementary school

  8. this is like reading a comic written by my teenage punk self. In a good way. 🙂

  9. This was a great series, just wish it would continue. Anyone have info on if that is going to happen?

  10. Looks right up my alley, I may just have to pick this up.

  11. Williams’ start on the new Robocop series was pretty good as well.

  12. Bought this when it first came out. Great story. Great Art. I highly recommend it.