TITLE:Sabre vol. 1, issue #1
YEAR: August 1983
COMPANY: DC Comics
Writer/Co-Creator: Don McGregor
Artist/Co-Creator: Paul Gulacy
Lettered by Annette Kawecki
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Editor: Tom Orzechowski
Back in August 1978, Eclipse Comics released the first modern graphic novel, “Sabre” which was created by writer Don McGregor and Paul Gulacy.
The series is set after the country was devastated by a nuclear holocaust and the world is ruled by the villainous Overseer.
And there are a few who have resisted capture, resisted being put in a prison or concentration camp and two of those individuals are Sabre and Melissa Siren.
Sabre is an armed freedom fighter, while Melissa, a test tube experiment from the ’90s, as mothers were replaced by science and man is no longer beholden to women as carriers of life and the female species no longer have to prove it ca bear children.
As the two head to an amusement park, two assassins are awaiting them. Grouse and Willoughby are awaiting for them before going for the kill.
Meanwhile, the Overseer and crew watches Sable and Melissa’s every move. Will these two survive another day?
When it comes to comic books, for the most part, many are easy to read, easy to follow and are very entertaining.
But you will once in awhile discover comic books that are complex, thought-provoking, smartly written and also equally entertaining.
“Sable” is one of those comic books series that introduced to readers a gritty style, sexual but not for the purpose of pure titillation but as part of a storyline that depicts a world gone mad. Where the Overseer rules all and those who go against him will be put in prisons or concentration camps.
Sable is a man that is not just some guy who may look like a weapon aficionado or brute, nor is Melissa Siren a token sexy female character that bends to Sable’s sexual desires. For the most part, these are two individuals who have very intelligent conversations, have each other to rely on but knowing they must do what they can to survive as there are people waiting to kill them. Sent by the Overseer to destroy them and make sure no one who goes against him.
While I haven’t read the original graphic novel, I enjoyed that the African American protagonist is depicted not as some brute or whichever stereotype that Black men were characterized back in the ’70s and ’80s. Sure, some may judge by his looks and character design which is no doubt very late ’70s/early ’80s in style.
And as I give Don McGregor major props for his writing, I also have to give Paul Gulacy credit for his wonderful artwork. For example, the image above, just look at the machine gun in bottom and how much effort he put into make it look so detailed.
The only thing I wasn’t too sure about and perhaps it was explained in the graphic novel is why the hitman Grouse looks like an animal. Was he mutated? That was the only question I had in my mind when I first read this comic book.
But for the most part, I did enjoy Sabre, it was refreshing to find a comic book that was smartly written and full of dialogue. It may not be for everyone, but for those who want a deep, smart and action-driven comic book series with wonderful art, will no doubt want to check out this classic Eclipse Comics series.