Matt Miner’s Liberator is raw, realistic and revolutionary…
Liberator is a honest portrayal of an animal activist’s battle for justice in a society which embraces institutionalized speciesism. In the first issue, readers peek into the duel life of Damon Guerrero, an underground animal liberation operative by night and a barista by early morning. Through Guerrero’s eyes, Miner captures the essence of the underground’s unwillingness to compromise and the ethical standards to which the underground has historically upheld.
Regular comic book readers are all too familiar with the typical good versus evil, superhumans in capes, extraordinary powers and fancy gadgets. However, Miner challenges readers to accept another type of hero. One that does not have the strength of steel, evolutionary mutations or special contraptions. Damon Guerrero is just a human; fueled by his moral purpose to end the confinement, exploitation and murder of non-human beings. Readers can relate to the realness of Guerrero’s struggle.
Moreover, the reality of his fight is further illustrated by his monumental task to save animals in a speciesist society and the sheer size of his opponent. Animal exploitation is rampant; carried out by industry and reinforced by consumerism. He cannot simply stop the exploitation by the wave of his hand or some magical phenomena that will convince the masses to end their participation in animal abuse. He must confront the industry through means of liberation and economic sabotage in order to save anyone he physically can. However, such a mortal reality does not damper or inhibit his actions. He realizes every individual being values their freedom and to liberate at least one among the billions is more than just symbolic.
In contrast to Guerrero, Miner introduces Jeanette, a street activist and grassroots organizer. Like Guerrero, Jeanette is determined to end the exploitation of animals but participates in a much more public form of activism. Jeanette is vocal, unyielding and an all around powerhouse for animals; a refreshing representation of women in comics. Furthermore, she embodies the very spirit of the above-ground animal rights movement and convinces readers of the importance of protest. Again, readers can relate to the realness of Miner’s characters as Jeanette plays a significant part in Liberator and is not just another objectified female role.
Taking on the task to represent the animal liberation movement within the comic world does not come without expectations. Many people will want to see the movement portrayed in a particular manner in order to appeal to a new, sympathetic pool of potential activists. Miner has bravely taken up this task and delivered it beautifully. Liberator bridges the gap between two communities, expands consciousness and provides opportunities for a new generation of animal activists. Miner demonstrates the political reasoning, the strategy and devotion behind animal liberation and that actions are not blind or lacking rationality. Liberator humanizes animal liberationists contrary to the misconception that underground operatives are “violent terrorists”, a lie propagated by the mainstream media and industry which serves to deprive liberators of their intent.
Miner and his crew have created a revolutionary manifesto in comic form and deserves your support. Liberator sheds light on one of the most important and controversial social justice struggles of our time – freedom for non-human animals – and contextualizes the power of one’s actions to do something greater than ourselves. Issue #1 is available for sale on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013.
Writer: Matt Miner
Pencils/Inks: Javier Sanchez Aranda
Colors: Joaquin Pereyra
Edits/Letters: Vito Delsante
Standard Cover: Tim Seeley, Rod Reis colors