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The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-First Century (Martha Washington)

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  421 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
Just in time for the Fourth of July! A masterpiece nearly twenty years in the making, this archival volume contains the complete life story of Martha Washington, the twenty-first century freedom fighter created by comic-book megastars Frank Miller (Sin City, 300) and Dave Gibbons (Watchmen), now in a more affordable softcover edition.

Our story begins in the squalid corrid
Paperback, 600 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Dark Horse (first published July 8th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
I honestly don't know where to begin with this review because there is simply so much going on in this book which contains all of the collected stories of Martha Washington first published in 1990.
This comic starts at the beginning with the birth of Martha in 1995 to a poor family in the Cabrini Green Housing Projects. The projects are characterized as nothing more than a prison and so, here begins Frank Miller's none too subtle very critical social commentary. He makes a very bold analysis of p
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Collects all of the Martha Washington appearances from 1990 well into the 2000's. Part social commentary, part satire, part science fiction, all fantastic. This is Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons at their pinnacle. It's every bit as good as Sin City or Watchmen. I read the issues as they appeared over the years and it's great to have them all collected with commentary from Gibbons. gibbons was one of the first artists to experiment with computerized coloring and his pages are still beautiful today ...more
Nicolas Ward
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphicnovel, sci-fi
This was quite enjoyable. It's nice to see Frank Miller's writing in a context that isn't as dark as Sin City or as gory as 300. I think what makes it work is the heavy emphasis on action, combined with an occasionally goofy sense of humor. The various behind-the-scenes bits worked in between the chapter/series breaks were interesting. I also liked some of the amusing references and crossovers; I spotted a mention of the Silver Surfer, and Big Boy made an appearance (I'd only watched the short-l ...more
Jason Bootle
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I borrowed this book thinking it was a graphical adaptation of an unknown black American woman only to discover it was the creation of Frank Millar and Dave Gibbons. This was one hell of a ride through the birth, life and death of Martha Washington, an inspirational, determined black woman fighting for justice and liberty, who emerged and fought her way out of oppression.

There's some great social commentary on race, power, environment, politics, war, technology. Some of the story lines border on
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This reads a lot better as one big narrative, at least better than it did as a series of strung-together minis back in the 1990s. Gibbons' commentary makes for a real nice explication of what he and Miller were trying to achieve with Martha. Without that commentary, you go into it expecting a certain story based on how GIVE ME LIBERTY was executed, and that's NOT where Martha Washington goes. Also this is a GREAT format for Gibbons' art: huge, intricate, detailed. Lots of fun.
Apr 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard of this book during a Black Tribbles podcast. I never heard of it before, but reading it now, I'm blown away by it. It's a Frank Miller/Dave Gibbons collaboration, same dudes that did Sin City and Watchmen. It's not so dark and grim as those graphic novels, but definitely gritty. There's still violence, there's still bloodshed. But it's a fascinating look at an alternative United states, and it's all done through a black woman's viewpoint.

Life and Times starts off with Martha being born
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this series. Miller and Gibbons got it right. Washington is believable, exciting, fleshed out and amazing. She feels authentic. I do wonder about her family. Her mother and her brother were very undeveloped. I also hated the very first page. The way Martha's mother is drawn makes her look like a man. Knowing these two artists and the way they can drawn white women, I knew this wasn't a problem of skill. So that bugged me a LOT. And why is she giving birth naked? WTF? And the one place th ...more
Dave Maddock
Aug 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I'm done with the first two large story arcs and several interspersed one-offs (about 2/3rds through). For reasons I can't yet articulate, Frank Miller's writing leaves me hot & cold (generally speaking, not just in Martha) which is surprising because I tend to agree with his not-so-subtle politics. He borrows heavily from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, particularly in the 2nd storyline, Martha Washington Goes to War.

Gibbons' art is great and exhibits the subtle attention to detail that blew my
Nathanael Hall
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Please allow me to preface this by stating that I am a huge fan of everything Frank Miller has ever done with the notable exception of the Sprit film adaptation. That said, I read a lot of graphic novels but never take the time to review them for the same reason I don't sit down and blog about a video game I just beat. "Martha Washington" is as notable an exception to this rule as, I dunno, "The Sims." In short, this comic is epic in the best sense of the word. Why? Simply because black women ar ...more
sweet pea
Aug 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-content
this book is epic. and amazing. i wish to hell there were more bad-ass black womyn in comix. there is a lot to digest here, a multitude of missions and a long career. but there are many absurd plotlines to add levity. my Graphic Novel Book Club has been after me to read superhero comics. i wanna make them read this one.
Thomas Mcmillen
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I think of comix - this is it. Frank Miller (Dark Knight) and Dave Gibbons ((Watchmen) combine to tell the tale of near-future (now recent past) USA. Dark, funny and filled with action - a tour de force. Also bat-house crazy in Millers love of Ayn Rand. Martha Washington is in the pantheon of superheroes.
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Always been a fan of Martha, and though it stretches credibility (how many times can things explode next to her without dying). It's always been a fun read. But the books don't stay as good as they go along. Wish they did, but at times it just felt Frank was trying to be done. That he'd gotten bored with the whole thing.
Christian Lipski
Jul 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frank Miller writes and Dave Gibbons draws this story of a woman who rose from a near-future ghetto to become a warrior. Some real wish-fulfillment stuff, and sometimes a little heavy on the politics, but it's rollicking fun, and the art is wonderful.
Sep 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely not Miller's best, but I enjoyed the book well enough. I've been wanting to read Martha for ages. Maybe it was that anticipation that had me expecting too much. I don't know. But there was something about Martha's character that felt somehow--I don't know--less, maybe.
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best graphic novel that Frank Miller has written and the artwork by Gibbons is detailed and vibrant. The character of Martha Washington is bold, brave and noble as she travels through a world of nightmares and horrors.
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
martha washington is the dystopian future comic book heroine octavia butler would have created, if she had written comic books, and if her own heroines battling dystopian futures were a little less unbeatable than they are. that being said, frank miller did good.
Thilani Samarasinha
Not as dark as most of his other work, which was perhaps why I didn't enjoy it as much but still a pretty good read. Loved the last issue in the series.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first time I read Give Me Liberty, it was in the late 1990s. I was working as a sales assistant in a comic specialty shop and the owner had actual copies of single issues of a very hard to find mini-series. It blew me away after I read it and I never thought how beautiful Martha Washington was, that strong female leads do make a difference then. It was then, I did not follow up any of its sequels... until the release of The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-First Century was ...more
Fred Baerkircher
The writer, Frank Miller, and the artist, Dave Gibbons, are both huge names in the comics field. And this work was originally released in the comics boom of the '90s. So I was a little surprised that I had never heard of this series. But then I read it and it made sense. This is pretty forgettable. Not bad, really, just forgettable.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Frank Miller last epic classic !!!
A quality collection of overall average work.

Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons' "Martha Washington" works have always intrigued me. When I was younger, I picked up Give Me Liberty issue #3 when it was released to the shelves. I had a vague knowledge of "independent comics" and the names, if not the works, of Miller and Gibbons were familiar. Inside my adolescent mind I knew there was something mysterious, adult and meaningful to their work, and the genre in general. Unfortunately, the content of iss
Jan 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This contains the Martha Washington trilogy as well as the one-shots. The one shots didn't really do Martha justice because they were way too short to convey the good messages. But obviously, Martha led a good life and her fight against tyranny will carry on with others in this epic tale.
Sep 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
So, THAT happened.

The overall story of Martha Washington is kinda cool—in a somewhat ridiculous, yet, fun-to-read and don't get too invested sorta way. As a fan of Frank Miller (Sin City, Dark Knight Returns, etc.) and Dave Gibbons (Watchmen, The Originals), I was excited to see what these two guys (who I would never have thought to place in the same pool as a possible comic team-up) could come up with for an unconventional and unusual character story.

There are probably some political underton
Dore' Ripley
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Martha Washington is a true All American hero(ine)! The omnibus tradepaperback gathers together the serials and one-shots issued between 1990 and 2007 creating a cohesive story of a young African American woman lifting herself out of the Cabrini Green projects of Chicago to become the savior of the planet. Martha is imprisoned, shot, stabbed, blown up, and betrayed, but still manages to remain honorable.

A touching tribute to Jack Kirby is played out in "Insubordination" when Captain Kurtz, a th
Gayle Francis Moffet
Actual text message to my buddy, whose copy of this book I've had for months:

Me: Am up to Martha Washington in Space and just have no real urge to finish. I feel like Frank Miller would be fun to talk to at a party once a year, but I would probably pretend like I didn't see him waving at me in the street. Nothing against the story, just not really interesting to me.

Buddy: Fair enough. Just do me a favor; read the last story of the collection. The Death of Martha Washington, I think it's called
Mars Dorian
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Satirical sci-fi dystopia where a young black woman finds herself in the future version of the Projects and joins the Peace Corps to survive, while getting entangled in the 2nd Civil War.

Wow. What a crazy-ass world building and setup. Reminded me of a mix between DMZ and Transmetropolitan, while being unique and heavy on the social commentary.

Crazy alcoholic politicians, mega-corps waging Fast Food war, renegade army colonels, white male gay Nazis, feminist rebels, cybernetic surgeons and Repub
Aguilar Elliot
Frank Miller writes a damn good batman, but his attempt at a strong militant black woman just doesn't hit with the same impact. I never got the sense I was reading the words of a female revolutionary freedom fighter. It felt like Miller was writing whatever the hell he wanted to write without really trying to portray a strong black woman's personality. Aside from that the plot has some kinda cool kinda absurd concepts like how a fast food burger company wages war to gain control of America. Ridi ...more
Martha was born in an alternate history America, one where the poor are locked into the slum/tenement housing provided by the government. From there she joins PAX, part peace corps, part military police, part army. She rises through the ranks and becomes a war hero, and treasonous rebel. And we see her as she passes finally dies at the age of 100.

Martha Washington is probably Frank Miller's best work. Or at the very least his most feminist. Martha is not a sex kitten who uses her body to get wha
Ted Williams
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Marvellous stuff from Dave Gibbons and Frank Miller.

A massive volume of great storytelling and classic comic art, that gets better and better the further you delve into the book.

Gibbons' art is always impeccable, and it's great to see both B&W and colour versions of several of the strips which really show off his skills.

The whole thing reads like an Intelligent 2000AD story, and features some great characters, especially the titular heroine herself.

Frank Miller always has something to say, a
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Frank Miller is an American writer, artist and film director best known for his film noir-style comic book stories. He is one of the most widely-recognized and popular creators in comics, and is one of the most influential comics creators of his generation. His most notable works include Sin City, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Year One and 300.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the
More about Frank Miller...

Other Books in the Series

Martha Washington (5 books)
  • Give Me Liberty
  • Martha Washington Goes to War
  • Martha Washington Saves the World
  • Martha Washington Dies

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