Are you sick of hearing about the Stop Kony campaign? So is everyone else. Regardless of what you think of it, whether you support it, whether you don’t, or if you have no idea what it is and would rather hear about a STOP MONY MONY campaign, none of that matters. This post doesn’t exist to tell you what to think about it – you can make up your own damn mind, and, to tell you the truth, Longbox of Awesome is sick and tired of telling you what to do because you never listen anyway. And clean up your damn room!
Anyway, the one thing everyone can agree on is that the sociopolitical atmosphere in most African countries is fascinating. Every one unique, every one with its own history dating back centuries, and each one with a thousand different people arguing about what the ideal solution may be.
So of course, this gives rise to a library’s worth of source material for great fiction. But since this blog is about comics, let’s focus on one that features everyone’s new favourite Hitler – Joseph Kony.
Unknown Soldier, by Joshua Dysart, features some of the tightest penmanship seen in comics in the last five years and art that immerses you in a world both fantastic and real.
While Unknown Soldier has been a character in the DC Universe for almost half a century, Dysart’s version is a complete re-imagining. Instead of an American soldier, the Unknown Soldier this time around is Dr. Moses Lwanga, a brilliant surgeon who finds himself in Uganda during the LRA’s 2002 push. After seeing the atrocities around him, he snaps, mangles his own face and launches a war of his own. His main target: Joseph Kony.
Throughout the series’ too-short run, you are treated to subjects usually absent from mainstream comics. Child soldiers, America’s meddlesome foreign policy and the African weapons trade all play a key role in Lwanga’s journey.
Sure, it’s just a fictional story set to a historical backdrop, but it’s unlike anything you’ve read before. Dysart handles often-touchy subjects with a caring, intelligent, confident hand.
It’s violent as Hell, too. Dysart doesn’t hesitate to make you wince. For instance:
It may even make you consider some of the issues at Unknown Soldier‘s core. It doesn’t force you to agree with it, it merely lays the issues out for you and asks that you give them some thought. If you want, you can just read it as a compelling work of fiction. Dysart probably wouldn’t mind.
So pick it up. By the time you finish the last frame, you’ll be screaming from the injustice of the series’ cancellation.
It may not trend any time soon, either, so you won’t get sick of hearing about it on your news feed, which is always nice. You complainy-pants.