Thanks to Heidi MacDonald for alerting me to Alvin Greene's Ultimate Warrior comic so I could make today's post election related! Of course, then I actually read Ultimate Warrior so I might have to rescind that thanks.
Alvin Greene, for those who don't know, was the Democratic nominee running for Senate in South Carolina. He was note-worthy mainly for securing the nomination out of seemingly nowhere. He was also later indicted on felony obscenity charges for showing pornography to a university student. The incidents managed to rankle more than a few feathers and he was even snubbed by the party by not being invited to the official Democratic post-election party, despite his being their candidate!
At Greene's own sparsely-attended post-election party, he announced he would now be focusing his attention on his new Ultimate Warrior comic book in which he is portrayed as a superhero. "I will save your house and your job."
The initial five page story is available as a free download from his campaign site. The story is evidently by Greene himself with art by Bob Raymond, who also acted as "story consultant."
In the comic, Greene (I presume that's who the main character is intended to be; he's not actually named anywhere) is given a dishonorable discharge for saying that he was confused about some reports out of Iraq that he couldn't authenticate. While he's walking the streets, he sees a homeless vet. He then encounters a woman being evicted. He beats up the movers hauling out her sofa, but happens to have his shirt opened, revealing part of his costume. The woman cries a relieved, "I don't believe it. You're him!" but promises not to tell anyone. So Greene(?) hands her a large wad of cash and then chases after some guy who happened to be standing in a trenchcoat nearby. The two run into a library, and Greene(?) loses the other man among the stacks. As he searches the stacks, some girl asks him to help her with her term paper on "the effects of microwave electromagnetic field irradiation on glioblastoma cell lines." He promptly sits down to start helping and some totally new guy stands in the shadows and says, "We can use this to get rid of him once and for all."
If you think I've left something out or skimmed over some critical details, feel free to download the book and read it yourself. I'm pretty confident that it'll leave you scratching your head. It really doesn't make a lick of sense. I don't think it's Raymond's fault here. The individual panel-to-panel transitions aren't hard to follow. Problems like the fact that none of the characters are ever named and that the protagonist's catch-phrase (and I swear I'm not making this up) is the amazingly clunky and awkward "Something's not right!" suggest that the person doing the majority of the writing isn't really a writer.
Honestly, I came to the book with a pretty positive attitude. Yeah, maybe there was some shadiness around his nomination and he didn't seem to take the campaign seriously at all, but I thought that using a national platform to launch an independent comic with a black protagonist would be kind of cool. Greene has some name-recognition so maybe that could play into even more/better coverage of comics from the mainstream press.
But no. This book sucks. The art's not bad (even though it doesn't look like Greene at all) but the "story" is all but incomprehensible. I've read fiction by nine-year-olds that is A) more creative and B) more cohesive. I'm not being hyperbolic there; I would definitely prefer reading my friend's kid's Taco-shima stories (shout out to Nick!) than any more of this drivel.
So there you go. Yet another political disappointment on top of the dozens of others you might have experienced today.
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