Comic: Liberator: Earth Crisis
Issue #: 1 (of 2)
Story: Salvation of Innocents
Price: $3.99/$3 digital (click to purchase)
Release Date: March 12, 2014
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Written by: Matt Miner & Earth Crisis
Art by: Javier Sanchez Aranda
Colors by: Joaquin Pereyra
Letters by: Crank!
Cover A by: Menton3
Cover B by: Rod Reis
Cover C by: Amancay Nahuelpan
Cover D by: Jonathan Brandon Sawyer, colors by Doug Garbark
Note: Graphic images, profanity – not for young kids.
Mild Spoilers Below
I first heard of Matt Miner and Black Mask Comics when I saw his booth at C2E2 2013. After reading up on him, I found out that in his spare time, he rescues pit bulls. Sometimes he succeeds; sometimes, he doesn’t. It’s that passion to help the helpless animals that he put into the debut series of Liberator, which was a successful Kickstarter project and has since become a second series entitled Liberator: Earth Crisis. It’s so named because the band Earth Crisis had a hand in this story, which takes place parallel to the original mini-series.
The original comic doesn’t pull punches — the art is graphic, the dialogue is laced with profanity — and it doesn’t feel untruthful. That means, though, that when you read it, you’re faced with some very weighty issues to think about. The original mini-series dealt with a variety of animal cruelty issues — dog fighting, animal testing — but it also dealt with other philosophical issues as well. When do the ends justify the means? When do you give up? Are human rights and animal rights equal?
Matt obviously had his own answers to those questions, and he laid them out for everyone to see. Liberator: Earth Crisis continues to present a case for animal testing with a new character, Sarah, who needs a job. The only one she can find is the role of janitor at an animal testing laboratory. She tells herself, “It’s only a job, I don’t condone what they do, I’m just here for the money.” But is that truly the case? She befriends some of the animals, but is that enough?
Outside, the laboratory sees protests every day, and one of the participants is Jeanette, who we met in the first mini-series. Jeanette befriends Sarah and tells her that if Sarah ever needs to talk, she’ll listen. And that chance meeting may have changed Sarah. Can she truly stand by, or can she be a person of change?
Once again, Matt makes you think. He makes you question what you believe, and he does it without being cute about it. There are many layers to this issue; humans benefit from testing, so is it completely amoral? Are illegal acts done for good reasons morally right? What can one person do by herself?
These are questions that can’t be easily — or even fully — answered within the pages of a comic book. But they are questions that can make you think. And even if you come away disagreeing with Matt and Earth Crisis present, having a comic that makes you think isn’t such a bad thing, is it?
(If you are in the Long Island, NY area tomorrow, March 8, Matt and Earth Crisis will be signing autographs at Fourth World Comics from 12:00pm – 2:00pm. Check out the Facebook event.)