Great Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Comics (Part 2)
As always, these are in no particular order other than as they come to mind or as I happen to see them on the shelves. Get ready to be frightened. Be ready to be made uncomfortable. Be ready for some pretty dang great comics. If you missed it, be sure to check out Part 1!
The Handmaid’s Tale (which I have read twice, and I also just finished the fantastic audiobook). The story follows Kamau Kogo who, along with thousands of other women defined as “Non-Compliant,” has been sent off to the prison world known as Bitch Plant. “Non-Compliant” can be pretty much anything a man determines to be offensive: too old, too fat, too skinny, overly vocal, non-heterosexual, or just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Kamau and her fellow prisoners have decided enough is enough: it is time to resist. This series is infinitely more timely now given the horrendous changes that have occurred since the first issue’s debut. Now, if only new issues weren’t so dreadfully delayed… The second trade comes out mid-June. We remain Non-Compliant.
Logan movie, which owes much to this thrilling series about resisting the forces of oppression.
Watchmen, which I already did a couple of weeks ago. A fantastic runner-up to that industry-changing series is V for Vendetta. Granted, this series was a response to the conservative extremism of England, and Moore — as he states in the introduction to the first issue in 1988 — wrote this 1984-esque comic out of the belief that the threat of nuclear war would lead to fascism. Three decades later and a quick hop across the pond, sadly, little has changed. In this important work, the citizenry is under constant surveillance by the ruling fascist regime, and all hope is lost…until a man in a Guy Fawkes mask blows up Parliament and begins to effect change. V for Vendetta is varsity-level comics, Denizens, but there’s a reason this all-too-relevant, dreary tale is considered a masterpiece and you will need to (re)experience it for yourself. The movie wasn’t half bad but you’ll definitely want to read the comic first.
Batman gleefully spanking a misbehaving Robin, or Superman spanking a misbehaving Lois, or Wonder Woman getting spanked for misbehaving — dang, the Silver Age liked spankings — the tone had shifted to more dire and desperate subject matter. Here, a much older Batman comes out of retirement to combat a new, more aggressive form of violent street gangs hellbent on turning Gotham City into their own wasteland. All of this while the superpowers of the world (countries, not heroes/villains) edge closer to nuclear war. Reading the dialogue of the US President (who bears a striking resemblance to Ronald Reagan) in this book rings all too true when compared to the nonsensical ramblings and lies of #45. If you haven’t read this comic, then you must have recently climbed out of your 1980s bomb shelter, and now’s the time to grab a copy…and then climb right back into that same bomb shelter. The DC Animated version of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Blu-ray is a dang-fine follow-up to the trade, both of which need to check out.