Fighting American: The Ties That Bind #3 Review – Stale and Blunt Social Satire

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The Fighting American is kept busy by his handlers while Speedboy is made a national news sensation for his interviews "exposing" the Fighting American. Elsewhere, FA's FBI ally begins to find her way to the bottom of the conspiracy targeting the hero.

Fighting American #3 cover by Andie Tong
Fighting American #3 cover by Andie Tong

I reviewed an issue of Titan's Fighting American run a few months back. The comic was lackluster for its inconsistent tone and inability to decide if it wanted to take the piss out of its protagonist or make him into an under-appreciated relic.

These criticisms remain as I check back in with the next chapter of FA's saga. This issue seems like less of an attempted homage, and it instead focuses on comedy and satirizing modern US media and society.

This could work, and you could even have a heartwarming center to it all with the Fighting American trying to still do the right thing. However, it's all undercut by the humor just not being funny. Sometimes the problem is as simple as that; the comic isn't funny.

A big part of this is how trite its observations are. Yes, we love drama and scandal. Yes, our government is a bureaucratic mess that wastes resources. Yes, Fox News is a shockingly dishonest and hilarious in its need for controversy. But these takes aren't fresh, and nothing new is done with them. Nothing of value is said. Often, the satire is so heavy-handed that it becomes obnoxious.

In the end, the Fighting American himself has little to do. He's shunted around and victimized by "Faux News", and the comic seems like it wants nothing to do with him.

Fighting American #3 art by Andie Tong and Tracy Bailey
Fighting American #3 art by Andie Tong and Tracy Bailey

Andie Tong's artwork is a saving grace which gives the comic a distinct and appealing visual identity. It's well detailed and has a classic tinge to it that is reminiscent of FA's roots in comic book history. Tracy Bailey's color art is bright and popping, making the comic even more pretty.

Fighting American #3 is a disappointingly unfunny and unexciting read. The titular hero is pushed aside, the satire is almost clichéd in its unoriginal observations, and the art is the only redeeming factor. Unfortunately, I can't recommend it. Give it a pass.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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