General DC

Review – Sparta U.S.A. #2


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Sparta USA 2I was pleasantly surprised to find a copy of Sparta U.S.A. #2 on my doorstep after being thoroughly impressed with the first issue.  To catch you up the series follows the return of Godfrey McLaine (who’s drawn a lot like Colin Farrell) and his attempt to free his hometown from the grip of the Maestro.

The series so far is rich with subtle political themes and some not so subtle (the two main characters are red and blue).  Keywords such as “commie”, “freedom”, “choice” are sprinkled throughout the dialogue and McLaine is even accused of being in the grip of a “dangerous political philosophy.”

One could say this is a simple allegory about modern day American politics but then writer David Laphan includes the Muslim concept of Houri and 72 Virgins throwing a wrench in the simple explanation.  This shows the writer’s intent of an even deeper philosophical debate that this very well may also be a greater discussion about paradise and what being an American is all about.

Plot: David Lapham (Stray Bullets, Young Liars) continues his dig about political concepts such as “freedom” and “choice”.  With the inclusion of the important number 72, we’d also thinks there’s even a deeper debate about the concept of paradise itself.  The story can be enjoyed for the simple plot itself or for those that want a good philosophical read, there are rich underlying themes.  We’re enjoying it on all levels.  Rating: 9

Art: Johnny Timmons continues his excellent art that befits the story.  The style continues it’s mix of clean and dirty we described in the first review that fits the “something’s not right” plot line.  It’s nice to look at, but it’s the story that’s the focus here.  Rating: 8

Overall: Whoever is smart enough to be sending this series to us, please keep it up.  It’s one of our favorite politically charge comics on the stand.  It’s there and present, but doesn’t beat you over the head or outright spell it out for you.  It’s an enjoyable series at all levels and we highly recommend you give it a shot.  It’s original, and refreshing and just plain good.  Overall Rating: 8.75

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 22 pages of story    Price: $2.99     Release: Wednesday 4/7/2010

DC and Wildstorm provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.