Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sparta U.S.A. #5

Written by David Lapham
Art by Johnny Timmons

I think this title has crossed the line into being almost impossible to describe.  Previously, this was a book about a isolated town modeled on small-town America, set somewhere in the mountains of a world that had undergone some drastic changes from the one we live in now.  The citizens of Sparta, trained from an early age to place their own needs above all else, and to love football, were sort of led by a blue man they called the Maestro.  Once their most famous football star, long believed dead, returns (he's red now) and challenges the Maestro, we kind of settle into a story about his insurgency on the town, backed by the large number of women he'd slept with before he left.  There was magic, Yetis, and precognitive dreams, but within the realm of comic book logic, it was workable.

Now, there are Nazis invading the town, and bizarre historical and folkloric references abound.  I have basically no idea where this book is going now, but I'm okay with that, because Lapham is always an interesting writer.  There are now more references to Ancient Sparta - one character is told to take up the mantle of Leonidas, and the number 300 abounds, but there is also discussion of a town called Hamelin.  This has been a very cool story, and I'm eager to see how Lapham wraps it all up.

Simmons's art looks a little rushed in this issue, and isn't up to the standard that he set for the first few.  I'm hoping he's back on track for the finale.

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