In this Morlock comic, the title is “The Rocket’s Red Glare”. It begins with Angel Dust sitting in a dark alley filled with garbage by a wall. On the wall, there is a poster which reads “We’re Watching You”. Though much like a homeless person, Angel Dust is a social outcast of society; i.e., a modern day leper. As her eyes glow in the dark alley, she stares out at the reader as if thinking, ‘We’re Watching You Too’.
These various characters appear in this story: Postman, Litterbug, Trader, Electric Eve, Angel Dust, Shatter, and Cell. Other characters include: Dr. Tom Metellus, a local doctor, and the Chicago police.
While getting food at a break-in, the Morlocks are surprised by the police. Quickly, the situation escalades and the police fire shots and pursue the Morlocks underground. However, while in the underground tunnels, the Morlocks defeat the police and wipe their memories.
Throughout this issue, we see the Morlocks bonding. They’re sitting in an abandoned subway. They’re reading newspapers. They’re eating. And they’re just hanging around.
Also, some group members are bickering. Electric Eve and Angel Dust are arguing by the looks of it. Eventually, Angel Dust goes off in the tunnels alone.
Dr. Metellus is the antagonist in this issue. Basically, he wants all Morlocks dead. He hires a para-military outfit aka private mercenaries, which might remind you of Blackwater USA. With support and funding from Congress, the doctor orders “Sentinel sweep 24/7”.
The doctor is responsible for the Sentinels. These AI robots come in the middle of the night. These robots are mandated to kill Morlocks. With a background in mechanical engineering and robotics, the doctor builts these killing machines.
In terms of political ideology, the doctor seems conservative. In the story, he’s portrayed as a patriot. Plus, he believes in government secrets. Also, he has a poster of a German soldier in his apartment. He displays a host of political beliefs, although he has progressive ideas too.
In this story, too, we see Electric Eve get revenge. She surprises her ex-pimp in his penthouse in the hot tub. She confronts him about getting her hooked on heroin and prostitution. Also, she tells him, “You didn’t love me.” In the confrontation, the ex-pimp goes for his gun and gets electrocuted by her. With energy spent, Eve passes out; however, the Morlocks arrive and take her to the tunnels.
Notably, in this issue, Litterbug wears a USA flag. Once, he was a mechanic in the USA army. He helped build the Sentinels while in the army. When his powers manifested, quickly, he went AWOL. In the comic, Postman lights his match on the USA flag on Litterbug’s shoulder.
In the real world, the Morlocks could be any minority. The could be Native Americans, African Americans, Jewish people, women, disabled people, gay people, or even Muslim Americans. The Morlocks resemble persecuted groups in history.
That being said, this issue came out after the 911 terrorist attacks on the USA. During that time, Congress passed sweeping legislation to deal with the terrorist threat. Such legislation included the Patriot Act and the AUMF. This issue expresses underlying fears of such broad Congressional authority.
In time, Edward Snowden would reveal disturbing things about this era. He revealed USA bombings of journalists in foreign countries. Snowden showed us government spying via AT&T and Verizon. As well, he produced evidence of government spying via social media like Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Plus, he revealed the use of government secret courts like FISA and worldwide spying agencies like the Five Eyes. Also, he revealed how the USA government spied on it’s own citizens via programs like XKeyscore, Prism, Echelon, Carnivore, and a whole host of other spying programs. Edward Snowden showed us secret global surveillance.
Overall, I liked this issue. It touches on issues of 2002, which still are relevant for today. And that Big Brother poster, “We’re Watching You”: it’s great! I would recommend this issue for the comic collection.