10th May2018

‘Fighting American: The Ties That Bind #3’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Gordon Rennie | Art by Andie Tong | Published by Titan Comics


You know a book is that good when you struggle to find new compliments to pay it. This is effectively issue 7 of Fighting American, and every issue has been simply brilliant. Clever, witty, sassy, sarcastic you name it it probably has it. Rennie seems to be having a great time, crafting great storylines with healthy doses of humour and politics (you need to read between the lines sometimes, but trust me, it’s in there). The art, by Duke Mighten and Andie Tong has matched Rennie’s scripts all the way. Whoever thought the whole ‘man out of time’ and ‘oldie struggling with the new’ still had such mileage in it? Not me.

So, as we have seen, a lot is going on. Speedboy has gone AWOL, leaving Fighting American to fight on alone recovering the tech flooding the black market. Both are still oblivious to the fact old foe Double-Header is now head of the FBI , or at least one head is, and manipulating events against them accordingly. Agent Rutherford has been sidelined on purpose, though her suspicions may get her killed yet, and star reporter Poison Penny has appeared on the scene, with plans to expose American and his family ties to the white supremacist Krunkle’s. Rennie certainly likes to give you your money’s worth.

We start with American hitting mini-nukes with a baseball bat…seriously. Set up yet again by dodgy Agents Carver and Cruikshank, once again American comes through. That, though, is the easiest thing he’ll probably deal with today, as Poison Penny has persuaded Speedboy to go on her Faux News show (Fox…cough…News), where his naivety is no match for her manipulation. Penny manages to make Speedboy think Fighting American has been using him, mentally abusing him and mentally manipulating him. All on national television of course. Oh, and American has been watching. He’s a tad upset.

As American continues to fight various foes and recover that tech, Speedboy, now seemingly a media sensation, has been doing the TV and radio show circuit embellishing more and more what a bad guardian Fighting American has been. Rennie gets in a nice gag about the whole guardian/ward dynamic and gay subtext by saying American liked staying in to watch wrestling and Rock Hudson and Doris Day movies. Standard 1950’s practice of course. Of course, any all male duo need a supporting character just to reassure the reader they aren’t gay, so what of Agent Rutherford?

She’s been thrown in the records basement, being carefully watched by her two fellow employees unknown to her. Unfortunately her trawling through the archives (aisles include Fake Moon Landings, UFO, and 9/11 Cover Up) has led to her discovering that no matter who the ‘official’ FBI Director is, it’s actually Double-Header. Her co-workers decide to take her out, but Rutherford fights them off and makes her escape. Time to get American back on side. In due time of course, as he has been told to go on the Faux News show to reunite with Speedboy, supposedly to tell his side of the story, but in reality to embarrass him further. Waiting in the wings, just to deliver the knockout blow, are the Krunckle’s, supposedly American’s living descendants. And white supremacists. Time to go to commercial.

Something of a deceptive issue this time round. Still packed with knowing humour and great lines, and drawn exceptionally well, but compared to previous issues not a whole lot happened. Well, it seemed that way on first read through, second time round I realised just how much had happened, but it was such effortless reading I didn’t cotton on. The perfect team for this book, full stop.

****½  4.5/5

Fighting American: The Ties That Bind #3 is out now from Titan Comics.


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