Captain America will be coming out this summer, but fans will tell you that for the past ten years he’s essentially been MIA on the War on Terror. In fact, the industry as a whole has shied away from any accurate portrayals the threat posed by Sharia Law. Captain America has spent more time hunting the Tea Party movement in recent years than he has engaging in the kind of Black Ops that have made Seal Team Six famous. For the longest time, fans of the medium have wondered when they were going to get their hands on war stories. Image Comics has stepped up to the plate. Unfortunately, there’s only one problem: American soldiers ally themselves with the Taliban.
Graveyard of Empires, written by Mark Sable, probably isn’t about Sharia Law’s incompatibility with the universal rights enshrined in our Constitution. It probably isn’t about an enemy determined to set the stage for a return of the Ottoman Empire. It probably isn’t about what makes an inordinate amount of men in that part of the world prone to chopping off heads and strapping bombs to their chest over religious differences. Instead, it is about the the one thing that can bring infidels and Islamic terrorists together: zombies!
Prior to their arrival, Sable and Azaceta spend a great deal of time developing the grim setting and violent characters that populate both sides of the war. Among them, a new commanding officer whose hopes of endearing himself to his entrenched troops are slim-to-none; an opium-abusing Explosive Ordinance Disposal specialist, driven to drugs by the stress of dismantling bombs; a treacherous Afghan cop; a mutinous American sniper; a Female Engagement Officer whose job is to work with the grotesquely oppressed women of Afghanistan; and an Afghan surgeon forced by the Taliban to implant bombs inside of people.
The Four Color Media Monitor puts it beautifully:
“So let’s see if I have this right: they acknowledge/allude to Afghanistan’s Islamic shariah oppression of women (or do they?), but damage all that with ridiculous ideas like a drug-addicted [bomb disposal expert], and a U.S. sniper who’s mutinous…” (italics added).
Is this a book I’m going to pick up? Sure. It’s piqued my interest, a testament to Mr. Sable. I also want to be able to write a thorough review. However, the seeds of moral equivalency seem to have been planted. My gut (and his twitter feed) tells me Mr. Sable—a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts—is liberal. Even if he’s not, his interview for Graveyard of Empires (perhaps the evil “American Empire” will be the latest casualty?) doesn’t give me hope:
Metaphorically, the zombies represent a force not unlike the Taliban. A foe with inscrutable motives that doesn’t seem to need to eat or sleep, and no matter how many you kill…they just keep coming.
I’ll cut Mark some slack, but for a guy who went to NYU and USC I wish he would have thought about his metaphor a bit more. The reason why the Taliban keep coming is because we refuse to crush them! The Mark Sables of the world would have said the same thing about the Japanese had we opted for a full-out invasion instead of dropping nukes during World War II. Can you imagine urban warfare in a city teeming with the Bushidō mentality? I’m not saying that we drop nukes on the Middle East…but I am saying that the United States needs rules of engagement that allow the military to do what needs to be done. You must be willing to have civilian casualties—especially when your enemy hides behind them. You have to win the war of information—something that’s increasingly hard when liberal writers always have to include “violent characters that populate both sides of the war.” You have to be willing to make “the international community” (largely composed of thug-despots, anyway) angry. In short: you have to fight for American interests, knowing that they are in the world’s interest, instead of some nebulous idea of what would get approval from a bunch of diplomats in Brussels.
I will be reading Graveyard of Empires. If it ends up defying expectations, I’ll say so. I did just as much with Superman: Earth One. But if it’s more liberal claptrap… this alienated fan will move one step closer to casting off the industry all together. Fight on!
Hat Tip: Four Color Media Monitor.