can’t help thinking that his portrayal of the DRC in particular and Africa in general is clichéd, dull, narrow-minded and lacks any serious research. Research is something that permeates a story; you can spot it a mile away. Research is what distinguishes Alan Moore’s dense take on magic in Promethea from your ordinary Doctor Strange story. Research is what distinguishes From Hell’s respect for real life people from Jonathan Hickman’s distorted, mean-spirited take on real life scientists in The Manhattan Projects. Bringing a real place and culture to life is what Grant Morrison does for Argentina in Batman, Inc #3 by having characters actually speak in Spanish and make references to Argentine literature, history, and politics. And if that mythical creature, the sophisticated comicbook reader, truly wants a well-researched comicbook set in Africa, may I recommend Joshua Dysart’s Unknown Soldier, a much better series about Uganda?
Read the nine issues and ask yourself this: what have I learned about DRC from it? Do I know the names of cities or towns? (Tinasha doesn’t count – it’s fictional.) Do I know what newspapers they read there? What they eat? What kinds of jobs people have? What different ethnicities there are? What musicians or novelists they have? What they do in their free time? What clothes they wear? How their public transportation looks like? Have I learned anything about the country’s history besides vague references to a ‘thirty-year-old war’ that indeed existed but which was so generically portrayed it could pass off as any war in any African country? After reading Joshua Dysart getting into real geopolitics and including real-life war criminals like Joseph Kony in his series, it’s disappointing to see Winick create a fictional dictator called Masika Okura, especially after claiming that Africa is a place “where we don't really have to come up with super villains. We have men in Africa that call themselves warlords who kidnap children and put guns in their hands and hop them up on meth and have them go kill people. These are the real guys.” Yes, real dictators like Mobutu Sese Seko, whom he turned into a generic dictator called Masika Okura