Issue by Issue – Freedom Fighters #12

Writer – Bob Rozakis
Artist – Dick Ayers
Inker – Christian Volt
Colours – Bob LeRose
Letters – Ben Oda

It is a day unlike any other because on this particular day, Darrel Dane, otherwise known as Doll Man, is set to die for a crime he did not commit. It sticks in the craw of the Freedom Fighters who have been lying low, angers The Ray who has been sidelined with an injury and it saddens Doll Man who is about to lose his life, knowing that he did not murder the District Attorney but is unable to prove it in any way, shape or form. It is a good thing then that Dane has Martha Roberts on his side, a woman who loves him more than anything and a woman who has an idea about just who might have set her beloved up. Bob Rozakis packs the book full of tension, with attitudes on both sides of the fence being heated to say the least. Uncle Sam even goes so far to suggest that maybe Doll Man is actually guilty, something that Roy Lincoln cannot abide in the slightest. So it is that the Human Bomb lashes out at his teammate, impassioned and angry and convinces Uncle Sam that there is nothing on the face of the earth that would make Darrell commit murder. Rozakis also throws in a big revelation regarding the man who rescued The Ray, a man who turns out to be another hero from Earth-X, namely Firebrand. Not surprisingly, readers are also treated to his origin story which is quite interesting as he was a double-agent, an American spying for the Germans and then double-crossing them and reporting back to the Americans. There is only one reason why Rozakis would bring this up and so it is that Firebrand decides to join The Ray in helping his comrade in any way possible. Eventually, everything comes to a head when the Freedom Fighters break into the prison holding Darrell Dane, freeing their friend before he has to face the electric chair. After they make good on their escape, Martha eventually shows up after being momentarily postponed on the way and she reveals what she has learned to the authorities and miracle of miracles, what she discloses frees Doll Man and manages to tie into the previous events of the series, but does not affect the previous charges standing against the team, thus continuing to find them on the run from the law. All of this leads to a surprise ending with a missing team member and ensures the readers will return yet again. With some truly great artwork by Dick Ayers who is joined by Christian Volt on inks that gives it all a Colan-esque appearance, the book not only reads well, but looks good too.

4 out of 5

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