Phoenix Jones captures FBI fugitive #ScreamPhoenix

Scream Phoenix: Not in My City © Samax Amen
In this episode of Scream Phoenix, Seattle based costumed activists ("real life superhero") Phoenix Jones and Midknight Jack stalk track and help police catch an FBI fugitive wanted for his alleged involvement in the so-called Mayday Riots...

So basically, they followed this cat around all night and kept updating the police about where he was until the cops took him in for questioning. My understanding is that he was then picked up by the FBI for alleged vandalism of a federal building during the so-called Mayday Riots. Here's a news report about the riots, in case you (like me) don't live in Seattle. At the end is the interview Jones did that inspired my drawing.

Here's one more. It's from Phoenix Jones' chest cam as he, Midknight Jack and Caballero arrive at one of the protests that has gotten out of control. In this one, you can see why the other costumed activists rally around Phoenix Jones.  Even in the face of impending violence and verbal attacks, he remains cool and level-headed. One of the other cats peppers sprays somebody who threw a rock and almost seems like he wants to bust heads...  but Phoenix Jones cautions him not to over-react, saying "You don't wanna be that guy, man..."
Far from being a propaganda machine for these dudes, my strip Scream Phoenix will show my criticism as well as my praise for the costumed activist and his mates. My apprehensions aside, I applaud how it has gone so far. Phoenix strikes me as being the right type of cat to be doing it.  He seems tough enough to take insults and minor attacks without lashing out, yet humble enough to learn from mistakes and be more or less silent about public criticism. 
Black Block provocateurs in Toronto, circa 2010
When I watched that news report, my eyes bugged out at the sight of the "Black Block" protesters, who look like Foot Clan ninjas or Cobra stormtroopers or something. The buzz I'm getting is that these vandals are likely undercover police provocateurs sent to instigate violence to provide and excuse for riot cops to move in and clear out the peaceful protesters. But I'm too far removed from it to say if that's true or not. Whatever the case, Black Block isn't new or isolated to Seattle, so I can't blame it on people reacting to the presence of superheroes. For now, I remain pleased with Phoenix Jones, and his ongoing effort to inspire civic activism in cleaning up the streets. To see my process in creating this latest Scream Phoenix illustration, click here. To read more of my posts about Phoenix Jones, click here.



corance said...

Interesting. So are Black Block actual supervillains? Like Hydra, mixed with the Brotherhood of Mutants, since they think they have a righteous cause, but do more harm than good. Hmm.

Has the world always been like this and we're just now seeing it?

Samax said...

I guess, both? Like I said, Black Block isn't new. For the most part, I think comics characters have always been influenced by real life analogues, but with the brightness and volume turned up to ten.

The world is full of villains, maybe even super villains. There are heroes, too. But they are not very super. Bullies. Ninjas. Gangs. Organized crime. Terrorists. Hackers. Serial killers and rapists. Cops. Firemen. Secret Service. Federal agents. Border patrol. Soldiers. Counselors. Big brothers and sisters. Mom. Dad. Einstein. Tupac.

All real. The super part is that in comics they ALWAYS live to fight another day. The rules of physics and dumb luck bend around them. They escape from jail and beat death again, and again and again. No cell can hold them. Death has lost its sting. Failure is not an option.

Writers think they can kill them. They outlast the gods that created them and directed their fates. They are rebooted or retconned back to life. They do what we can't.

We call Phoenix Jones and his friends heroes. Maybe they are, and maybe they're not. We'll see. But that's nothing special or permanent. We're really only calling them "super" heroes because they wear costumes and (more importantly?) masks. But so did the Klan. And the Latin Kings.

I like "costumed activists" better. Can't remember where I heard it, but it's true. Until someone shows SUPER skills, technology or intelligence. I'll wait for Doctor Manhattan.

Sophie said...

there was some stuff over the past several months that showed Phoenix in a not-so-great light, but i think despite all that he's still good to have around. can't wait to read more of your strips!

Samax said...

Thanks. Yeah, I am not 100% gung-ho about it, but I think I understand these guys better. In light of the Trayvon Martin shooting, I totally respect that Phoenix does that kind of service without resorting to lethal force.

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