DC Comics has quite a sense of timing. Fittingly for many of the events going on in the United States and even the world lately, the publisher is bringing back one of their original Nazi punching superteams for the Rebirth era.
As reported by Comic Book Resources, the Earth X based super team the Freedom Fighters is returning for a new 12-issue limited series from writer Rob Venditti and artist Eddy Barrows beginning in December. Freedom Fighters #1 gathers characters like Human Bomb, Black Condor, Doll Woman and Phantom Lady from the original team line-up for a story set in a version of 2018 where the Nazi’s won World War II and took over the United States and more.
“So I’m doing a ton of world-building, dealing with real history and also the timeline of the story, bringing in the elements of superheroes. We get to see how 2018 America looks if the Germans won WWII, but also what the status of superheroes is in that kind of environment as well,” Venditti said. “It’s a lot of fun because you get to just kind of build everything from scratch and really get to throw a lot of concepts out there and it’s something that takes place in the wider DC multiverse but not being set on this Earth means it isn’t as constraint as other stories might be. We’re really drawing from the Multiversity one shot, so that’s established some elements but we’re really working a lot from scratch. Eddy Barrows is really doing a fantastic job rendering this world and handling the designs.”
That aforementioned Multiversity one-shot was called Mastermen and was from Grant Morrison (who wrote the overall series of Multiversity interconnected one-shots), Jim Lee and Scott Williams in 2015.
As Venditti said real history will be brought into this series but because it’s an alternate world, that history will be twisted to fit this changed world.
“We’re starting our story on November 22, 1963 which is the day of the JFK assassination, you know, in the real world. But JFK was never president here on Earth-X so we’re taking that day in Dallas and dealing with the death of a different hope America had. It’s the idea that the dates themselves have significance and power,” Venditti said. “When we start out, the team is Black Condor, the Human Bomb, Doll Woman and Phantom Lady. These are all newer incarnations of the characters, and we’ll learn new backstories for them, what motivates them and why they’re Freedom Fighters. Uncle Sam in 2018 is missing in action. The American spirit was crushed when America was conquered by Nazi Germany, and so the Freedom Fighters are now coming back to try to remind the American population that there is such a thing as heroes and here’s what America stands for. They sort of re-stoke that American spirit with the hope that by doing so, if they can stoke it enough, Uncle Sam can return and they’ll have this very powerful, you know, fighting force on their side.”
Those twists will include warping of some familiar DC characters.
“We’re taking DC concepts and applying them in different ways. So for example, Plastic Man doesn’t exist on Earth-X because he was captured by the Nazis and they extracted his DNA, his ability to shapeshift,” Venditti said. “And now they’ve used that science and applied it to an entire force of covert agents called the “PlaSStic Men.” So there’s a new SS, and they live among the American population. They can literally be anybody. They could the person who works in the store, someone in your life. They could be your next door neighbor and they’re always living in secret — they’re a force that everybody knows is out there, but not where they are. It keeps the American population living in abject terror all the time.”
Freedom Fighters #1 arrives in December.