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[personal profile] starwolf_oakley posting in [community profile] scans_daily
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SAVIOR 28 #5



"It's first and foremost a human story, with psychological and spiritual dimensions. The story of a flawed man whose very belief system is challenged, shattered. Seeing where that shattering leads Savior 28 is the crux of the story. And as much as the book is something of an anti-super hero diatribe, it's also a loving tribute to the genre. I couldn't have written as many super hero stories as I have without genuinely loving the genre and, even in a story that attempts to expose some of the ugliness and stupidity that underlies the super hero concept, that love, I think, manages to shine through."

J.M. DeMatteis



On September 11, 2002, Savior 28, Queen Shakti and Hadrach appear at the United Nations.






It's hard to tell what Hadrach is thinking, but you can tell Shakti is thinking, "Oh man, I thought for sure he'd have something better to say than this!"

An early review of this issue was on AICN.com by Matt Adler said Savior 28 is mixing up "cause and effect" regarding World War II.

The US tried pretty strenuously to stay out of WWII (some would say too strenuously, given the events in Europe). That is not to say that having the role of defender against an aggressor excuses all actions on the defender’s part, but it does make a difference in the moral equation, I think.

As for hating Germany and Japan and vowing to destroy them: to be sure, once the war started, jingoism was whipped up to fuel the war effort, and racism was a pretty integral part of that (see the internment camps). But I think it is also important to note that this was an EFFECT, not a cause, of the war.







Dennis explains Savior 28 still had some supporters who point out a nervous breakdown 60 years ago doesn't mean he's crazy now. But even though the general public can be sympathetic to family, friends and even celebrities who "drag themselves back from the brink," the hint of mental instability in their leaders just isn't tolerated.

Here is another section from the review. Adler said he meant "heroes" as "people we look up to" instead of "costumed vigilantes."

Another point DeMatteis makes-- and it’s one I’ll have to ponder, since I’m not sure where I stand on it—is that heroes are seen more as leaders, rather than celebrities. He uses the public revelation of Savior’s mental breakdown to make that point that while people may be able to understand and empathize with loved ones who go through personal problems, or sympathize with celebrities going through very public personal struggles, they are not so tolerant of their leaders’ personal problems, saying “…if they so much as admit they’ve been to a therapist—we toss them right out the door” (perhaps alluding to George McGovern’s 1972 running mate). Are our heroes our leaders (or for that matter, vice versa)? I’m not sure.





Dennis explains that the only thing that has ever phyically hurt Savior 28 is another piece of the Master Stone, which gave him his power in the first place. Since Dennis has a small piece of the Master Stone, that is removed and turned into magic glowing bullets. Which Dennis showed Jimmy in issue #4.

Which means the whole "shoot Savior 28" thing was planned for a while.

Dennis explains that Hadrach was killed with a specially made cancer, probably given to him that day at the UN.



"Don't ask, don't tell."

Not sure what gays in the military has to do with killing Queen Shakti and all her followers.



This I don't get. Going by the continuity of the five issues, the bullets were made before the apperance at the U.N., before Savior 28 was captured by the Superior Squad, maybe even before his fight with Ms. Jupiter. If things had not gotten this bad yet, why create the "Savior 28 killing bullets"?

Dennis waxes philisophical about killing dreamers so we know we can still dream. Also, the death of Savior 28 resulted in Peace on Earth for one minute. That was six months ago, meaning Dennis is writing this in March of 2004.







Hey, Obama is on the television! So, this takes place in 2009, when the series was released. The ending might mean Jimmy will one day get his powers back, but not for decades. As with many things in this story, depends on how you read it.

This is a well written, well drawn series that deserves a look beyond getting tossed onto the "deconstruction of the superhero" pile. Yes, stuff is left out that explains things that are left cryptic. Maybe J.M. DeMatteis will explain it someday.

Date: 2017-02-08 12:40 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] palgrave_goldenrod
If things had not gotten this bad yet, why create the "Savior 28 killing bullets"?

I assume that the government / military / whoever had always made sure they had some kind of contingency in case Savior 28 seriously went off the rails and had to be put down. Kind of like those stories where the US military tries to come up with some anti-Superman weapon just in case.

Date: 2017-02-08 07:55 am (UTC)
viridian5: (Death Guinea Pig)
From: [personal profile] viridian5
If things had not gotten this bad yet, why create the "Savior 28 killing bullets"?

Maybe it's like Batman figuring out ways to stop the various members of the Justice League if they went bad/became possessed by an enemy/etc.

Date: 2017-02-09 04:08 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] tcampbell1000
The art's good. The writing's... mixed. (starwolf, I not that even you can't resist a critique or two as you post it.) DeMatteis is generally good and often excellent, but he has certain tics and well-worn themes that grow clearer as you read more of his stuff (I used his 1980s work as one of my models, so they may be especially glaring to me).

What really stands out, reading this now, is that politically charged superhero comics age a lot more quickly than most comics stories. I suspect it's because they want to serve up grand truths, but because political realities are always shifting, one year's "truth" doesn't always feel so true even a few years later. It seems pretty clear that all the Captain's pained cries that "we're just as bad as the villains we fight!" were responses to the Bush era's insistence that it was fighting the good fight in the "war on terror." Savior 28 goes so far as to suggest that any act of violence is morally equivalent to the September 11 attacks-- and DeMatteis paints that as Savior's black-and-white morality at work, but it feels like the story more than half believes it. I wouldn't be surprised if most of the story had been written earlier and the coda was slapped on after Obama's election.

Nowadays, you have an amoral President shrugging his soldiers and giving Putin carte blanche to despoil Ukraine: "[He's a killer?] There are a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?" You have people attempting to dismiss the actions of millions of protestors because a handful of vandals and looters take advantage of the unrest for their own ends. You have people thinking Richard Spencer shouldn't be punched in the face. I don't know where Savior 28 would stand on all that, but these are among the reasons that his own moral equivalences don't do it for me today.
Edited Date: 2017-02-10 03:50 am (UTC)

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