10 years ago, writer John Ridley and artist Georges Jeanty teamed up to create The American Way, a miniseries for DC Comics’ defunct Wildstorm imprint that explored race relations in 1960s America through a government-sanctioned superteam that just gained its first black hero. It was a smart, exciting title that showed what Ridley and Jeanty could do when given the opportunity to create a new superhero concept, and in a surprising move, DC‘s Vertigo has revived the book for a new story set in the ’70s. Ridley’s profile has significantly grown in the past decade, in which he won an Academy Award for his 12 Years A Slave screenplay and created the Emmy-nominated TV series American Crime, and bringing him back to comics is a major get for DC. He reunites with Jeanty to explore the next phase of Jason “The New American” Fisher’s superhero career, and the new time period gives the new book a darker, bleaker tone than its predecessor.
This exclusive preview of next month’s The American Way: Those Above And Those Below #1 shows Jason soaring into action against a group of self-styled radicals that have been taking drugs off the streets by killing pushers, and while Jason agrees with his enemies’ general mission, he can’t stand by and do nothing while people are murdered. Jeanty does excellent work giving this scene dynamic energy, particularly the moment when Jason crashes through the window, and Ridley’s script fills readers in on necessary information while providing them with a thrilling opening. Inker Danny Miki adds a lot of fine detail to Jeanty’s pencils to give the art that ’70s grit, and Nick Filardi’s coloring further reinforces the time period with a palette of warm browns and grayish blue. This is a different world than the one of the first The American Way, and readers can discover how Jason’s life has changed by picking up the new series when it goes on sale July 5.