Bluewater Productions has launched the Beyond series that promises to reveal stories about subjects that some people would rather you did not know. For its debut, we have “Beyond: Edward Snowden.” Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor turned dissident, whistleblower and fugitive, now has his story unfold in this comic book. What you don’t know about the most wanted man on the planet will shock you.
Who knew that Edward Snowden is, in many respects, the most unlikely candidate for the position he’s now in? Did you know, for instance, that Snowden has no degree of any kind, no even a high school diploma and that he began his career with the NSA as a security guard? His whole life plays out like a character in some elaborate political satire thriller. But, in his case, it’s all true. It’s true that Snowden has hit upon something huge.
Writer Valerie D’Orazio is a seasoned professional with work both at DC Comics and Marvel Comics. Recently, from 2010 to 2013, she was the editor of MTV.com subsidiary MTV Geek. Her style is honest and upfront so she makes an, above and beyond, great choice to write this story about Edward Snowden. What we get are the facts in a tightly paced and compelling narrative. A story like this, as big as it is, can still get lost somehow. What the general public seems to favor is that Snowden is a legitimate whistleblower. What D’Orazio presents is an easy to follow recap on Snowden’s life, career, and his exposing of various U.S. surveillance programs, including PRISM which allows for broad surveillance of the internet, including American citizens, through a massive secret data mining system.
Artist Dan Lauer provides a nice clean and spare style that fits in well with an information-centric comic. It is easy on the eyes, does not distract from the subject, and enhances the story. It reminds me a bit of Scott McCloud’s neutral cartoony style that can easily apply to any subject. Gary Scott Beatty does a great service with his integrated use of lettering. Colorist Cidao Oliveira keeps the tone of the story running smoothly. And the cover is very inviting, put together by Dan Lauer and Graham Hill.
Again, I have to hand it to D’Orazio for gathering up all the facts on Snowden and presenting them in this comic book. There’s more you’ll want to read about in this comic that just cries out for his story to be turned into a major motion picture. I’m sure a lot of people would agree that much good came from the release of the movie, “All The President’s Men.”
Overall, if you think you know the Snowden story, think again. Bluewater Productions may surprise you with this noteworthy comic. It is available now. Visit our friends at Bluewater here. You can find digital copies at iTunes here, at comiXology here, and at Amazon here. And you can find print copies at Comic Flea Market here.