The_Mad_Swede's Reviews > The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-First Century

The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-First C... by Angus McKie
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's review
Sep 17, 11

bookshelves: comics, miller-frank, science-fiction, 2011
Read from June 23 to August 25, 2011

I first came across Martha Washington in ads back in the 90s, but never got around to checking it out. Then for a long time, after having well and truly developed an appreciation for Frank Miller's work, it seemed as if no good collections of the first instalment in Martha's saga, Give Me Liberty, was available in print. And then finally, I came across this.

This very hefty volume, 600 pages in total, collects all of Martha's outings at the hands of writer Miller and artist Dave Gibbons from Give Me Liberty (#1–4), Happy Birthday Martha Washington (including the stories "Collateral Damage", "Logistics", "State of the Art" and "Insubordination"), Martha Washington Goes to War (#1–5), Martha Washington Stranded in Space (including the stories "Crossover" and "Attack of the Flesh-Eating Monster"), Martha Washington Saves the World (#1—3) and Martha Washington Dies, as well as a volume introduction by Miller, ongoing introductions by Gibbons to the different stories and story arcs, and a great deal of extra material in terms of sketches, covers, and whatnot.

And it is really good stuff. Born in a by now alternate (originally near future) 1995, Martha Washington is a black woman born only to grow up in the segregated ghetto of the Green. This is a political story, a human story and an absolutely engaging science fiction story.

Throughout the many narratives, Miller and Gibbons expands and extrapolates from their original concept, but at the centre of it all, we always find Martha, who is an absolutely compelling character that very much seems to be Miller's idea of the American dream incarnated, or perhaps the spirit it requires at least.

Definitely a highly recommended volume, whether you have made Martha's acquaintance elsewhere before or not.

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06/23/2011 page 16
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