|TRUTH: RED, WHITE & BLACK
||[Jan. 27th, 2014|12:30 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
Finally got a chance to read TRUTH: RED, WHITE & BLACK, the graphic novel from Robert Morales and Kyle Baker. Tony brought in a kinda banged up used copy and priced it at $24.95. I snapped it up because I've been curious about it for years and years, but haven't been able to put my hands on it. (For the record, I paid full price & didn't take my employee discount.)
It's an... enrichment of the Captain America origin story. It's a story of three families, it's the story of race relations in America, it's a World War II story, and it's the story of 300 African American men, soldiers who were given the super soldier serum in various experimental doses order to perfect it. And it's the story of those very few who survived the process. It's a superhero origin story by way of Tuskegee.
There's so much packed into it that I had to read it twice, then pick through different scenes to make sure I understood continuity. I'm not sure if that's a critique of the writing or a wish that it had been a little longer or allowed to have more detail. It's beautiful -- Kyle Baker's art is a joy to see and he uses a very loose line in this. And it's deeply affecting -- from the racism, through the eugenics, and on to the Holocaust -- this is some very intense stuff. And it all hangs together well. It's definitely stood the test of time thus far as it was originally printed in 2004 but could've come out yesterday.
I wish it were still in print. I think it's cowardly to let it languish.