Matt Miner is a bastard, but he’s my kind of bastard, and there’s no denying his pedigree. Although, perhaps “pedigree” is a loaded term given the tale he’s telling in Liberator #1, a story of an activist-turned-vigilante who takes direct action against the cruelest animal abusers, including dog fighters and fur farmers. Matt studied with Scott Snyder (Batman, Superman Unchained), and his successful Kickstarter campaign counted among its supporters the punk bands Propagandhi, the Descendants, and Bad Religion, whose Brett Gurewitz is publishing Liberator under his Black Mask Studios imprint.
To be clear, Liberator is a good book, but one that delivers its message without flinching. Having been asked to draw illustrations that accompany such captions as “…animals caught in snares and skinned while still alive,” artist Javier Sanchez Aranda must think Matt Miner a bastard also. Aranda acquits himself nicely, and that image will haunt you, as will a few others, and you’ll find yourself rooting for the hero Damon, which is ultimately the magic of Liberator.
More than just a crudely scribbled polemic, Liberator features a fully realized and relatable protagonist, one who struggles at his day job and isn’t sure what to make of the woman in his life. Damon hints at a painful childhood with just enough subtlety in this first issue to whet the reader’s appetite for the balance of this four part series. There is, in short, real meat to this story – and again, perhaps “meat” is a poor choice of words – and Matt Miner has chosen to feed it to you alongside a handful of rusted penny nails.
Nice job, you bastard.
Trust us: Eric Palicki is your kind of bastard. The first issue of his own graphic novel, ORPHANS, arrives June 19th exclusively on comiXology. Read his work for and about comics on his website. Follow him on Twitter.
Eric previously helped you Suit Up for a Suicide Mission in Amala’s Blade #1 and found more indie passion projects with Protectors #0 Will Have You Rooting for the Underdog