The Programme, Vol. 1

Peter Milligan and C.P. Smith

Start with a perfectly possible premise: All those weapons that the former Soviet Union left lying around are available for the use of pretty much anyone. Now what if the weapons are “superheroes,” engineered humans with extra-human powers, with names like Spirit of Stalin and Pravda? Then add in a bit of old-style Cold War posturing, including the CIA’s homegrown versions of the Soviets’ fighters: Max and Senator Joe (yep, that Joe—at least, he thinks so). Now set ’em loose on a world already falling apart, thanks to American oil-fueled imperialist ambitions in a place called Talibstan. With disturbing art (a cross between photographic realism and hallucinogenic nightmare), The Programme introduces us to what superheroes would look like if the powers-that-be were in charge of them.