Story and art: Steve Skroce, Colours: Dave Stewart, Letters and design: Fonografiks.
Carolyn rushes in to save her mum from certain death at the hands of the American soldiers. However they were unaware that President Nathaniel had more soldiers ready to round them up. The 5 of them are taken to a remote area where Nathaniel then broadcasts them live, on their knees and chained. His plan is to give a speech to the American people telling them about how his forces have unraveled the terrorists' plan to disrupt their Utopia. This is his defining moment. Does Carolyn have an escape plan, or does Mike know how to get them out, or will this be their last defiant moments against the fascist Nathaniel?
I’m still truly amazed at the talent it takes for one person to do both story and art. There are very few who could do both and do them well. Steve Skroce manages to craft a well-told story woven around some unique character designs.
This actually seemed like a very short issue, however at 24 pages it’s the standard length for the series so far. It seems short due to lack of progression within the story. This issue is mainly about reuniting Carolyn with her mother in an emotional moment that is very short lived due to their current predicament.
We are treated to what I think is an incredible full page opening, which depicts Carolyn with her mother. The opening few pages are dedicated to giving Carolyn the backstory of why she does what she does. Her mother talks her through the idea that there aren’t many who can protect themselves, so those who can do so will protect others, which is as much a burden as it is ugly work. This very small part of her backstory opens up the reason why she is so angry. She has had to carry that weight of being a protector for so long.
Something else caught my attention within the book, that was contained in President Nathaniel’s speech, “To our military, we thank you for your service and courage, to our indentured, learn from their example, apply yourself and one day you too may be called citizen.” This quite stuck with me as it reminded me of Starship Troopers (Verhoeven, 1997). In this film, you had to be part of the military to be classed as a citizen. Then as a citizen you were granted privileges like voting. Now, we haven’t got the back story around Nathaniel’s America yet to know for sure that this is the same, however I don’t believe this was an accident. Within the film, there is a focus on all aspects of the military. You’re not seen as a productive member of society until you’ve served. They are a heavily militarised society that works towards pushing the military forward even further for “dominance” of the galaxy (I say dominance as from the film we are lead to believe that the invasion of the alien planet is a retaliation, however if you study the way the media is portrayed, it could be propaganda). We could see similarities within this series by the way that Nathaniel had to endure a kind of war for him to stay alive and make it back to the bubble (as we saw in the last issue). This could be the cause of his empowerment of the military, which in turn is why he feels that only people who enlist are granted the stature of citizen.
In regards to the art, it’s still as good as it was in the first issue, so it’s great that it’s keeping consistent. As you can see, it’s still as violent and bloody as ever, which is something it hasn’t tried to shy away from. I could imagine things being as brutal and violent during a post apocalyptic crisis. It’s the colours by Dave Stewart that really accentuate the violence by having some rather bright colours when it comes to the gore. The bright yellows and reds, make the situation stand out more, whether that be a guy's head exploding from a bullet, or someone being shredded by a werewolf. Each violent panel is made even more dramatic by the colours, which also makes them more shocking.
Overall I still enjoy this series, it’s an action-packed, violent book that doesn’t take itself too seriously most of the time, which is where the fun comes in. Although if you do read into it there can be lots said about the state of society, the military, and the way we govern countries.
Post Americana #4 will be released on 24th March from your local comic shop as well as comixology