If you’re a fan of the early Marvel books, you’re familiar with the great work that Stan ‘n’ Jack did on those comic. But if you’re familiar with the early Marvel books, you’re also familiar with their rabid anticommunism.
Well, Rough Cut Comics has turned that anticommunist fervor on its head with The Freedom Collective, “Communism’s Mightiest Super-Heroes”.
Written as if it were Soviet propaganda from the early ‘60s, the Freedom Collective is a team from that USSR that has an amazing adventure in the United States, attacking the evil that grows in the White House in an effort to, as the heroes of the Freedom Collective state, “warn the people of the nightmare that is… capitalism.”
Of course the success or failure of a comic like this one is very much dependent on the creators’ ability to kind of channel the work that Lee, Kirby and their partners produced in the ‘60s. “Comrade Barr” does a charming job of peppering the script of this comic with the sort of wacky one-liners and propagandistic slogans that were often found in old issues of Tales to Astonish. This is obviously a bit of a dream project for him, and Barr pulls out all the stops to play up the absurdity of his storyline.
The art by “Domski Reagan” has lots of hints of classic Kirby in it. The art is full of fast-paced action and classic Marvel intensity. It actually has a bit more of the grittiness of Simon & Kirby rather than Kirby himself in some panels – for instance page seven with its look at a morally destitute New York City.
This is a cute and funny novelty comic, well worth ordering for anyone who kind of misses the moral simplicity of fighting communists in comic books.
For more on The Freedom Collective, see the Rough Cut Comics website