Cover From the Original Series
New York Comic Con News: DC Comics announced that John Ridley, who won the Academy Award for his screenplay for 12 Years a Slave, is returning to comics to pen The American Way: Those Above and Those Below, a sequel to Ridley’s 8-issue 2006 Wildstorm series The American Way, which used an alternate history featuring superheroes to examine the racial divide in the United States during the 1960s.  Those Above and Those Below will feature art by Georges Jeanty, who also drew the 2006 series, and will take the adventures of Ridley’s African-American superhero, The American Way, into the tumultuous 1970s with its political scandals and rampant racial profiling.

Ridley is excited about his return to comics telling DC “Though I have been very blessed over the last decade in both film and television, there is a very special sense of accomplishment that comes with seeing your work on display at the local comics shop. I’m so thankful to everyone at DC for giving both me and our many fans the opportunity to revisit the stories, themes and perspectives that were such an integral part of The American Way." 

Jeanty wants to portray the seamier side of the 1970s: “the series picks up ten years later, and I want to show the grittier side of the ‘70s by composing pages with heavier considerations to shadows and somber lighting to underscore the unrest and uncertainty of the times."

Ridley mixes a major amount of social commentary into his narratives, which still remain compelling because of his ability to create rounded, empathetic characters.  DC’s Vertigo imprint, which is publishing The American Way: Those Above and Those Below, is also planning to publish a new collected edition of the original The American Way miniseries, which took place in the 1960s, and which remains one of the most relevant and fascinating bits of superhero alternate history ever conceived.