COMMENTARY: America’s Got Powers… And Problems

 

Yesterday, ComicBookResources released a new teaser for America’s Got Powers, a new series by Jonathan Ross and Bryan Hitch.

In the release, Ross talked briefly about the premise for the series, which involves the use of superhumans who had previously been locked away by the US government for reasons of public safety in a gladiator-like reality TV show. The complete story is available on CBR.

What makes America’s Got Powers a topic of interest for this blog is that very premise. The idea that the US government would lock away citizens without trial is, sadly, not a new one. In past decades there have been well-documented instances of the Federal government deciding that certain groups of citizens posed a “clear and present danger” to national security. From the forced relocation of Native American tribes to the internment of Japanese citizens during World War II and, in present day, the indefinite detentions of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay and other “black sites.”

This is a topic near and dear to both civil libertarians and traditional liberals who believe that the government should not deprive citizens of their personal liberty without due process. In the series, this idea becomes particularly interesting with the raised stakes of a growing superhuman population, any one of whom holds the same destructive potential as any of the doomsday scenarios parroted on traditional media. Does the governments responsibility to protect its citizens trump its responsibility to defend those same citizens’ liberty? Does the exchange of liberty for safety, in this case, make sense?

The depth with which this topic will be explored by America’s Got Powers remains to be seen, but the fact that such a topical issue is being raised in what looks to be a very high-profile book from renowned creators is definitely a step in the right direction for the industry as a whole. Kudos to Image Comics for pushing the boundaries of the form and wading into the waters of social relevancy.

Josh Epstein

Josh Epstein is the Publisher for the Capeless Crusader website. He’s a lifelong comic nerd, and “Superman” is the first word he ever read aloud. He is also an actor, singer, and resident of a real-world Smallville.

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