In the introduction to "The Golden Age," the author mentions Moore's "Watchmen" as a source of inspiration. In fact, the idea that superheroes are fascist tools isn't a new one, and "Watchmen" explored that same issue, but from a Reagan-era hysteria point of view. "The Golden Age" returns readers to a simpler time, when apple pie and the Stars and Stripes were good, and Hammers and Sickles and All Things Red were bad, and that was that.
Since superheroes, especially traditional superheroes, represent the same dualistic worldview- ultimate good and ultimate evil, with very little in between - it's natural that they be used as a vehicle to explore the darker aspects of living with such a limiting cosmology. "Golden Age" takes some of the classic superheroes and does just that, focusing on the McCarthy-era, post-WWII hysteria. On one hand, America had a lot of to be proud of, fighting a successful war to rid the world of obviously evil enemies. But, on the other, the Red Menace was growing, an evil that no one could really define yet everyone agreed was bad. Enter the superheroes, fighting for all that is good and American.
But where does the line between fascism in the name of good, and fascism in the name of evil, fall? Or is there even a difference?
While "The Golden Age's" point isn't exactly subtle, sometimes ideologies must be taken to the extreme to show how their application would be absurd. This it does with style and elegance, making it an interesting story for anyone interested in comics as literature, or as art (or both). "The Golden Age" is definitely worth your time.
Final Grade: B