Review: Liberator #1

Posted: June 19, 2013 in Comics, Music, News, Reviews, Uncategorized
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By Todd Matthy

Founded by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion, Epitaph Records), and Matt Pizzolo (HALO-8), Black Mask Studios has made publishing transgressive comic books their mission. One such book is Liberator.


Created by Matt Miner, a dedicated dog rescuer, and drawn by Javier Sanchez Aranda, Liberator is a hardline, vigilante, adventure about young people taking on dog fighting and animal abuse. So, how is it? Click below to find out.

The line, “Fuck subtlety!” sums up the first issue of Liberator. Matt Miner lets you know the tone of the book, who the main character is, and the books mission. After an exciting torching of a dog fighting compound we are introduced to Damon Guerrero, the star of the book. Most of the issue is spent establishing who Damon is. Miner also develops Jeanette, a feisty young woman who is legendary amongst Damon’s fellow activists, who it looks like is going to be a major character.

There isn’t much plot development in Liberator #1. Miner instead focuses on developing his characters. What are Damon and Jeanette’s passions? Fears? What pushes their buttons most? These questions drive the issue. But it’s not all talking heads. There is a cool sequence where Damon confronts an abusive dog owner that ends in a manner that will satisfy the dog lover in you.

Liberator has some gorgeous artwork. Javier Sanchez Aranda knocks it out of the park. His expressions are natural, his action is fluid, and there is a soft texture to his art that balances the harsh tone of the book. Aranda’s art is accentuated by the coloring of Joaquin Pereya. Pereya’s colors are smooth and vibrant. I love the way he gets the pink/orange hues of dawn just right.

Once again, Liberator #1 is not subtle about its politics and that lack of subtlety could be off putting. However, if you put the politics aside you will find a great first issue that is a wonderful introduction to an interesting series and world. Definitely check it out. All of the writer’s proceeds go to dog rescue work. In the meantime check out some preview pages below.

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