John Ridley’s American Way: Those Above and Below is set ten years after the introduction of the Civil Defense Corp and the clashes between the super-heroes and super-villians of The American Way. Much of this book acts as a reflection of those events as the characters are still dealing with the aftermath of the destruction of the superteams and struggling to keep their fight alive. Amber Dawn is a “power to the people” revolutionary whose domestic terrorist group has made her the continued target of law enforcement. On the other end of the spectrum, Ole Miss is asked to enter politics on the platform of “traditional family values.” New American is stuck in the middle; he is unsure who to help and what would be the best course of action to further the issue of race in the turbulent 1970s.
Excellent art work with unique points of view move this story forward quickly. The novel focuses on few characters and only adds a couple new ones which allows for great depth and a real look into character motivation. I do believe that it is essential to read The American Way first as this one doesn’t and really shouldn’t provide a sufficient introduction to the characters and plot lines.
Overall, this is a very good graphic novel with excellent characters and biting social commentary.
4 out of 5 stars
Comes out on April 24th, 2018.
Thank you to NetGalley, DC Entertainment, and John Ridley & Georges Jeanty for an advanced copy to review.