Saturday, June 15, 2024

Livewire #10 Sees Amanda Play The Media Game

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Last month, we saw Amanda McKee aka Livewire getting her first glimpse of redemption as Senate Candidate John Wright and his assistant Gwen Goodman offered her the opportunity to rehab her image and become an activist for psiots (while helping Wright with his campaign). While Amanda ended that issue conflicted about the offer, Wright and Goodman hinted that they were not who they said, or at the least were not being honest about their motives. In this issue, set shortly after Issue #9, we see Livewire take her first step back onto the public stage while she tries to solve the mysteries that continue to surround her.

Like the previous issue, it’s a very “talky” issue. The beauty of Livewire’s abilities is that she can move around the world as she needs, traveling over wi-fi networks and the like to talk with whomever she’s focused on at the moment.  The first part takes place on a talk show, where a debate between candidate Wright and Senator McCoy is broken by Wright’s “guest” Amanda, who nearly causes a riot in the studio while she answers questions from McCoy and the show’s host.

The second part of the issue is set back at Amanda’s lair, where we get to learn more about Gwen Goodman. She’s there to make a house call, delivering the quintessential part of every “rehabbing the hero” story: a new costume. We also get a little bit more of an idea of who Gwen is and why she’s working for Wright, and Amanda yet again has to face someone who has had their own struggles separate from her own. (I’m also not unconvinced that Gwen doesn’t have a small crush on Amanda)

The final bit is centered on LA City Councilman Wright,  who Amanda is still investigating. This is the only part of the comic with any sort of “action” as Livewire fights off complex firewalls that surround Wright’s information. They aren’t normal firewalls, and they cause her a great deal of difficulty as they actually copy her in a way we’ve not seen. It culminates in a beautiful splash page that’s straight out of a classic Dr. Strange comic, one which shows off Tana Ford’s fantastically fluid and chaotic art style. It really is a great piece of art that puts to good use the possibilities behind Livewire’s abilities. It culminates in a big discovery about Councilman Wright and, eventually, a better connection between Amanda and her new patron. But it ends with yet another reassurance that Wright is not being fully honest in his goals, and we’ll have to wait for more revelations about the enigmatic councilman.

The issue was less monumental than the last one, as its main goal was to move to develop our characters a bit more and reveal a few mysteries while deepening others. As I said before, it’s again a pretty talky issue, but to be totally fair Livewire is so powerful it can’t be easy to find things that challenge her. It has a great sense of politics, however, and it continues to raise provocative  questions about power, resistance, and oppression.  The pace of the storyline seems a good one, and they’re hinting that we’ll get a big revelation before the year’s out. I think it’s definitely building to something, and I’m excited to see it pay off. If you’re invested in Livewire, this is definitely worth a pickup. And if you’re not, what the hell are you waiting for?

As always, you can pick up Livewire #10 on Valiant’s website or at your local comic book store. You can also get caught up on Amanda’s previous adventures with the release of Livewire Vol. 2: Guardian, which covers issues #5-#8 aka the “Guardian” arc. And stay tuned for the next issue in October, which promises a long-awaited return by Amanda to the superhero game.

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Images courtesy of Valiant Entertainment

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