Matt Miner’s “Liberator” is a comic with a purpose, a voice, and a platform. It also happens to be incredibly well written and paced. It’s well worth your money, and some of the profits go to an incredible cause.
WRITTEN BY: Matt Miner
ART BY: Javier Sanchez Aranda
PUBLISHER: Black Mask Studios
RELEASE: June 19th, 2013
Matt Miner has created a series about hard-edged vigilantes with a noble cause. “Liberator” is ingrained in the real world. It is the story of activists who refuse to stand idly by and watch helpless animals go through torturous acts. The reality of “Liberator” is present on every page. The story drips with knowledge of this world, and constantly engages because of it.
“Liberator’s” subject matter isn’t really up for debate. As a reader we know animal abuse is wrong, but perhaps don’t know the terrible depths of it’s reality. Miner does. He uses this knowledge to create a compelling story on a real world issue. Humans are butchering animals and Damon isn’t going to take it anymore.
Already, without Damon dressing up as a vigilante, “Liberator” would be a book about heroes. Damon and Jeanette are the type of people who refuse to sit down and let animals be victims. Yet, whenever their protests can’t do enough to sway the masses, they take the law into their own hands to change the tide.
The story of “Liberator” # 1 is a little slow. It falls into many of the pitfalls of a typical first issue. Not enough action and too much exposition. The final three pages are truly fantastic. They kick things into high gear and set up the rest of the series.
However, judging “Liberator” by regular conventions is a disservice to the story. It exists in its very own school of thought, and almost defies conventional criticism when it comes to pacing or plot, based solely on the fact that the subject matter is so important.
Aranda’s art is crisp, clean, and dynamic. Character designs are fantastic. The paneling is cleanly arranged and never distracting. Page sixteen and seventeen are particularly haunting, and help to contextualize the real world nature of the plot. However, near the end of the issue Aranda’s art takes some missteps and perspective warps. Character’s proportions start to change and while this sort of thing is more forgiving in moments of dynamic action, it unfortunately happens in slower panels.
“Liberator” is well worth the price of admission. Miner has created an original story that is incredibly important to him, and it is clear on every single page. The story would be compelling enough without the addition of masked vigilantes. However, we do indeed have those too. So what results is an important story with the right mix of comic book elements.
“Liberator” # 1 has something for everyone. I usher you to check it out. Not only because doing so will help a great cause, but also because doing so will help Miner tell more stories of this nature.
Reviewed by – Jimbus_Christ