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The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-first Century [Paperback]

Frank Miller , Dave Gibbons
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

July 6 2010
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 corridors of a maximum-security housing project, where a young girl will rise from the war-torn streets of Chicago to battle injustice in a world insane with corruption. Her fight will take her far, from the frontlines of the second American Civil War, to the cold, unforgiving reaches of space. She will be called a hero, a traitor, and nearly everything in-between, but all along the way, her courage, her integrity, and her unwavering commitment to that most valuable of rights — liberty — will inspire a movement that will never surrender.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Commentary April 17 2013
By Rafael
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this story and the main character. Just a great narrative and tons of great social commentary throughout. The art is quite nice too. I highly recommend it, well, unless you're on the far right.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This should be a movie already ! Feb. 26 2010
By M. Uribe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a great book, very heavy, great story, i have to admit that the ending was not really one of my favorites and somewhat disappointed, felt like they could have gone a little further and maybe had a better ending. But if you like a story enough that you debate the ending enough, you know you enjoyed it.

You want to root for Martha every step of the way, from her child hood to adult hood. You want her to go far, and its sad at the obstacles she has to face. But its through these obstacles, and humbleness that make her such a great character. I have to agree the story can be messy at times, and some of the later stories are a little bizarre. But i would recommend this to any comic fan or first time comic reader alike.

The question now, who can play her in a real live movie ! Get this book it will be a collectors item for sure
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best action stories in graphic novel form Aug. 15 2010
By woodrow locksley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Comics by way of the graphic novel have grown up in the last 30 years.Led by Art Spiegelmans publishing of his fathers holocaust experiences and his relationship with hisfather as he tells his story, Maus showed that comics can tell any type of story and do it well.The Hernandez have explored the cultural matrix of Mexican communities both in Mexico and the United States.Peter Bagge has satrirized American Life.Joe Sacco has done journalism through comics more effectivelythan most journalists anfd there are many others like Dan Clowes Chris Ware and Dauid Mazzucchelli who have explored the human condition in interesting and powerful ways.But what about the action adventure genre that is at the heart of comic books?There is good news here as well.Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons chronicled through a set of stories the life of an African American woman from her childhood in a Chicago slum to distinguished service as a warrior and most importantly as a champion of liberty as a member of a futuristic American army.Millers writing is oftwn wild and his political speculations take satire to an absurdity that can be hard to take at times but there is no denying the energy and his main theme that freedom is more important than security an that anytime a government says we need to reduce freedom to enhance security then both freedom and true security are at risk very much influenced by Ayn Rand but also by many of the founding fathers who believed the same thing. Dave Gibbons art is clear and well constructed giving depth to Millers writing because of its realism and he is a fine letterer as well. The color art especially after the Give Me Liberty section of the novel is magnificent. Martha Washington was originally published as three seperate smaller graphic novels and three one shotsbut it is shown to be a coherent whole one large novel in this collection.It is a first rate example of the action adventure genre particularily in comics and I RECOMMEND IT MOST HIGHLY
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the first story, great for the Martha Washington completist April 30 2014
By Devan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I grew up hearing a lot of interesting things regarding Martha Washington, a dynamic character shaped by Frank Miller's writing and Dave Gibbons' excellent pencil-work. I would have shelled out money for the individual trades, but I came across this beautifully bound omnibus instead. If you want to own all of Martha's adventures, including the one-shots, this is the book to get. Each story is prefaced by mini-essays written by Gibbons himself, and these introductions are worth reading because the man genuinely cares about this character and all of the things he and Frank had to go through to bring her to life.

Story-wise, the best part of Martha's tale is captured in her first graphic novel, Give Me Liberty. This was written around the time when Frank Miller's storytelling abilities were on a major roll, as was Dave Gibbons' gritty, cinematic layouts. GML chronicles Martha Washington's birth, her troubled childhood in a futuristic slum, and her trials as a soldier. She rises through the ranks, fights corruption within her own army, and experiences the collapse of an already broken political system first-hand. It's pretty heavy-going at times, but the satire is funny, the world is superbly fleshed out (via mock magazine articles that crop up throughout the story), the dialogue is sharp, and the pacing is on par with any good science fiction movie.

GML is followed by a few standalone stories, which are pretty good and remind me of classic 2000 AD progs. These stories pave the way for the book's second arc, Martha Washington Goes to War. It's a decent story, but it doesn't hold a candle to GML in terms of depth and insight. Miller's writing takes a few left turns, and some of the characters and situations become a bit more removed from the grittiness of the last arc. The conclusion is a bit iffy too, but it's an entertaining read nonetheless.

After a couple more one-shots, we're given Martha Washington Saves the World, my least favorite of the stories contained within. I think Miller's writing takes more of a dive here as the story isn't nearly as interesting as it should be and the stakes are a little confusing and generic (a rogue AI, clones, brainwashing, an ancient alien city ship, yadda yadda yadda). With a title like that, you would think it would be an epic and grounded story, but it's fairly short and takes place off-planet, with a lot of space ships, laser guns, and lengthy expository dialogue. It's kind of interesting when you read these stories in chronological order, because even here, you can chart Miller's dwindling ability to maintain interest in his own writing, as it is apparent in many other books he wrote at the time.

The last story, Martha Washington Dies, is self-explanatory, but it's painfully short and somewhat alienating. The reader is dropped right in the middle of a situation that isn't adequately explained, many years into the future. It feels like the last issue of a 10-12 issue series that never made it to the printers. Needless to say, it's very underwhelming considering all of the stories that came before and how well-developed Martha Washington became over a 20 year period. It shouldn't come as a surprise that it feels rushed, considering how Miller had already started exhibiting stories that felt like they were bashed out to meet a deadline. I just think Martha Washington deserved a better ending is all.

Ultimately, this omnibus deserves four stars because it contains a lot of great extras (sketches, layouts, promo images) on top of the excellent introductions provided by Dave Gibbons. Even if you don't like the stories that take place after GML, you can at least have all of them under one cover, sitting on your shelf, and sit comfortably knowing you own all of Martha's adventures.
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Comic Entertainment June 30 2013
By ACE - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I first brought these when they first came out a very long time ago. So when I saw them in this Graphic Novel format, I had to get it. The story is top notch!!! It was my first introduction to Cabrini Green aka "The Green" and Millers twists on it were AWESOME!!!!! Her (computer) teacher getting killed was shocking. From there, the story just takes off. Her military commander is a scoundrel. The take on the Surgeon General is PRICELESS!!!!! I wasn't a fan of Miller until this story arch. If you're looking for a unique heroine that happens to be African American and Female, you have hit the jackpot. If you're looking for a good story, you've hit the jackpot too. I agree with the other reviewer, "this should be a movie." I vote for Sanaa Lathan or Jada Pinkett-Smith to play Martha.
5.0 out of 5 stars Most awesome book March 10 2013
By Stephen Payne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons give the future a dark, satiric edge in which feminists, fast food chains and super intelligent computers vie for control of 21st century America. Violent, depressing but ultimately uplifting, Martha Washington's life is a reminder that while evil remains ever busy, the good must continue the good fight, even if their actions are ultimately futile.
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