Comics: Fighting American Volume 1: A Brave New World - Reviewed

Angered over the relaunch of their comic book character Captain America by Atlas Comics, the writer-artist team of Joseph Simon and Jack Kirby decided to create a similarly patriotic themed character called Fighting American. The first issue was released in May 1954 and lasted through issue #7, with a single issue being released in 1966 and an unpublished story appearing in a 1989 Marvel Comics’ collection. It began as a serious anti-communist hero, but turned into a superhero satire by the second issue. Simon said that he felt that Communist enemies would prove to be the perfect villains, just like the Nazis were to Captain America. 63 years since the first issue originally came out, Titan Comics decided to bring the characters of Fighting American and Speedboy back. Fighting American Volume 1: A Brave New World collects the first four issue story arc in the series. It’s an outstanding book and a fitting tribute to characters created by the iconic Simon and Kirby, featuring a fun and entertaining story, a dark villain, and terrific art.

Gordon Rennie did such a wonderful job of crafting a story that makes sense and transports these characters into the future, where they have to navigate this new world that is entirely different from the one they just left behind. In many ways, it’s like Captain America’s situation in the MCU films, but further explored. Fighting American and Speedboy travel 62 years into the future with professor Dyle Twister, searching for the villain Poison Ivan and his Communist cohorts. What they don’t know is that this was all the evil plan of a villain named Chaos Lad, permanently trapping the superheroes in the future. With the assistance of female FBI agent Lydia Rutherford, the duo must learn to adapt to the many social changes and track down and defeat their foes. Rennie has developed a fun story that combines the silliness of a ‘50s comic with the dark and violent world of modern comics, making for some amusing dialogue and situations, as well as deadly encounters.

The art from Duke Mighten and PC De La Fuenta is just stellar and has a distinct style, uniquely blending the classic superhero look with a more modern drawing style. While it does have a somewhat modern superhero look to it, there is a very purposeful use of weighted lines and the faces have unusual, contorted shapes and are overly gestured. Everything about it is truly superb; there is a great deal of action, the character movements are beautifully dynamic, the splash pages are outstanding, and the panels and page setups are all interesting. It’s a book that you can spend a lengthy amount of time dissecting each page and panel, looking at all of the details. The colors are bright and bold, matching what you typically expect to see in a Golden Age comic. There is a fare amount of color gradation, adding extra depth to the characters. Many panel backgrounds are one flat color, making the characters pop forward on the page.

Fighting American Volume 1: A Brave New World is a special book and something of a surprise. I went into it expecting to be disappointed and I ended up being thoroughly impressed. With its unique cast of characters and storyline, an excellent villain, and outstanding art, this is a book that you need to get your hands on.