A Graphic Novel About America?
Batman The Ugly American, much like The Black Spider, is another single issue arc that I got as part of the Shadow Of The Bat Volume One collection.
Like The Black Spider, I have read it, I just can’t really remember it.
I’m really excited to retread the book however, Alan Grant is shaping up to be one of the best writers and I become more and more engrossed with every chapter I read.
These stories are hard to retain in my old age.
Donald Trump (Only Ugly American I could think of)
The book opens with the laughably bad, John Payne…also known as the Ugly American, running a group of teenagers off the road because they were driving a none American car. The villain rocks up to a bar in a t-shirt that says ‘I eat roadkill’ and you know instantly that it’s ‘going to be ONE of them.’ You couldn’t make it up.
The racist character, threatens every minority, turning down foreign beer and killing ‘non American’ dogs on his quest to find his daughter, Tina.
He eventually tracks her down and ofcourse she is married to an Asian man.
Ooop daddy won’t be happy.
Jon Payne..as in Pain..see…clever
You can guess what happens next, The government show up to take down Payne who turns out to be an experiment. Payne is shot whilst grappling with Batman and the dark knight states ‘you said he was the Ugly American…after seeing what you did you are!’
Yeah the writing isn’t up to Grant’s usual standards.
I know I’m being very very negative on the book. It is hard to really have this kind of story really feel high quality no matter the writer. There are instant satirical moments in which we see, through Flashbacks, the Ugly American being subjected to indoctrination to hate foreigners. It seems like a parody of modern news coverage. We are always told to hate and despise the other and that immigration is responsible for all of our problems, even though you only have to read a book to discover that it’s not.
Honestly it was probably this section of the issue that saved it for me. I see how intelligently Grant is trying to be and thus far he has done a great job of covering Mental Healthy, Drug abuse and now the factors that lead towards racism.
The Ugly American is an ok read, it actually stands up today more than the majority of the books written in 1992, mainly due to the election of Donald Trump and the hate that we are taught to have of the Middle East. The run can be quite thought provoking at times but issues like this have been portrayed at a higher level in better books. I’ve forgotten it by the end of writing this review. Yay senility. All of the above makes it difficult to recommend.
That’s why it gets a….
Leave a comment whether you agree with my ranking or not.