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Review: Liberator #1

Liberator-iss1-cover1aWhen I get wind of a comic series that mixes politics into the story, my ears immediately perk up, no matter its leaning. I’m politically active (shocker) and lean left generally, but I do vary on some issues. Liberator, written by Matt Miner with art by Javier Sanchez Aranda takes on an issue I find myself going back and forth on, animal rights. And with my wishy-washy beliefs, I enjoyed it even more so as I learned a bit more about the varied viewpoints.

Liberator #1 is the first issue of a hard-edged vigilante series about two young heroes who avenge the torture of animals, Miner is a real-life dog rescuer. When it comes to animal rights, I have friends on many sides of the issues and always thought it a fascinating cause, though have never much been an animal person. Partially because those in that community run the spectrum from activists who rescue and care for animals to the more militant who liberate animals with questionable tactics. With this series we get a look across that spectrum, both in story and the articles included after. And no matter your opinion on the issue, it’s a great read and interesting cause to learn about.

With this first issue, the seeds and groundwork are laid out for the many characters the story revolves around, but the overarching plot is still a mystery. The series really could just be about the liberation of tortured animals, and that would be interesting in itself, but I’m expecting something a bit more (though would happy to be wrong).

What I really enjoy is the balance of characters. They’re presented as average normal people, some passionate about a cause and willing to express that passion in varied ways. They’re interactions and what they have to deal with, arrests, some of the protesting, are events and topics I’m very familiar with as an activist. Seeing protests on the comic page and some of what’s dealt with put a smile on my face. This is a side of politics you don’t see depicted too often, and when you do, it’s in a negative light. Here we get a fairly honest portrayal and I can’t wait to see what else is in store.

Liberator is a fun mix of politics and hero in comic form. Something we don’t see enough of sadly. It wears its politics on its sleeve proudly and is all the better for it. No matter your thoughts on the subject the comic will entertain and hopefully make you think too.

All of Miner’s personal share of profit goes to dog rescue work. For those who are interested, there’s a release-day signing event at JHU Comic Books in NYC, June 19th at 6PM, https://www.facebook.com/events/133499776849210/

Story: Matt Miner Art: Javier Sanchez Aranda
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Black Mask Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review