Published: December 24th, 2008
Written by: Howard Chaykin
Art by: Howard Chaykin
Dynamite, 406 Pages
American Flagg is considered a classic and a masterpiece by many comic book aficionados since it was running regularly in the 1980s. I never read it back then, I was pretty much only concerned with G.I. Joe, Star Wars and superhero comics at the time. It was also much more adult than what I was ready for back when I was in elementary school.
I did finally pick this up, after Comixology had it up for free for Unlimited subscribers. I’ve heard only good things and thought that it was an experience that was long overdue.
Sadly, it didn’t resonate with me. Maybe it’s because it feels like a relic of that ’80s era and it doesn’t work outside of that time, other than being nostalgia for those who loved it back then.
I will say that the writing is pretty good and that the artwork is better than what was the standard, at the time. I like the character design, use of color and the tone of it. I just couldn’t get into the narrative despite the writing being mature and better than what I used to read back in the ’80s.
With those who I’ve talked to about it, this is often times compared to Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Frank Miller’s work on Robocop, as well as the original Robocop film. It may even have hints of Blade Runner. While those are all things I like, I just couldn’t get enthusiastic about American Flagg, which actually disappointed me.
I wanted to like it at more than just a visual level. I just felt that the characters were too generic and simple but then again, maybe that’s the point, as they live in a superficial, entertainment obsessed society. Still, it didn’t make for an interesting read, as it was difficult to feel a connection to any of the main characters.
I liked the talking cat though.
Pairs well with: Has similar themes to Robocop and Watchmen.