Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome Volume 1

By  Chuck D and Adam Wallenta

Illustrators: Adam Wallenta with Peov, Komikers Studios and Michael Bianco

Place: Publisher & Year: Naugatuck: American Mule Entertainment, 2009

Genres: Adventure; science fiction; mystery

Format: Graphic novel

ISBNs: 0967390893, 9780967390895

Intended audience: Public Enemy fans – adults and young adults

Number of pages: unpaginated

Setting: Greater NY metropolitan area – including secret government facilities

Time period: early 21st century

Plot summary: While Chuck D gives a lecture to college students, members of Public Enemy and the S1Ws are fighting terrorists with plans to blow up the White House.  Meanwhile, Vincent, a thirteen year old boy from the ghetto has become the subject of scientific experimentation by a secret organization – New World Order.  Vincent escapes his tormentors through the Underground Railroad, but when he goes to a PE concert one night, his past catches up with him quickly.

Illustrations: The story is illustrated in color, but many of the panels are shown predominately in various shades of grey.  Spilled blood is shown in vibrant red.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: Fast pace with lots of action and violence.

Characterization: Told in third person.  While many of the characters portrayed are actual people, such as Chuck D, Flavor Flav, DJ Lord, Professor Griff, and former president GW Bush,  most of the people are given either strengths or flaws which are over exaggerated to the extreme for the purposes of telling a classic good vs. evil story.

Frame: The combined factors of the inner city setting, secret underground prison for terrorists, and predominately nighttime action all contribute to the dark frame of this story.

Story line: A superhero style story which involves real people in a very unlikely situation.  The story is very much in line with Public Enemy’s musical messages which often speak of race and class struggles in America.

Subject headings:

Public Enemy (Musical Group) – Comic book, strips, etc.

Inner cities – New York (state) – New York – Fiction

War on Terrorism, 2001 – Fiction

Heroes


Similar authors: Hard to say since there is so little information about this book.  Through searching NoveList I’ve come up with a list of graphic novels which have African American characters, but perhaps less in common with the rest of the story:

Music related

Davis, Mark – Blokhedz, vol. 1: Genesis

Vollmar, Rob – Bluesman series

Politics related

McGruder, Aaron – Birth of a Nation: a comic novel

Action/ Superhero

Smith, Felipe – MBQ series

Aaron, Jason – Secret invasion: Black Panther

Morales, Robert – Truth: red, white & black [part of the Captain America series]

Busiek, Kurt – Kurt Busiek’s Astro City series

Non-Fiction

Anderson, Ho Che – King: A Comics Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr

Helfer, Andrew – Malcolm X: a graphic biography

Laird, Roland Owen – Still I rise: a graphic history of African Americans

Personal notes: I can’t find this book listed in any library!  It’s not in WorldCat or LOC.  There is a record in Amazon now with a review and an outrageous price, but there’s no info about what other customers have bought (possibly because no one is interested in spending $99 on a graphic novel.  It can be purchased at a much more reasonable price from American Mule.)

I thought this book was pretty funny.  I had fun picturing these guys with samurai swords and hearts of gold.  I especially enjoyed Flav’s flying clock weapon.  I had to come up with my own subject headings for this book – so it’s the first time using the cataloging skills I developed from last semester.  [Annotated throughout the month of May 2009]

Other (themes, diversity): Diversity – Black artists (rap and hip hop musicians), African American leaders, inner-city kids

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