"Uncle Sam, Part One": A strange, bearded vagrant named Sam wanders the streets of an American city at election time, trying desperately to remember who he is. To the confusion of all passerby, Sam seems incapable of communicating on his own, speaking solely in sound-bites and other quotations f
- I regret I have but one life to give to my country. I regret I don't know why they took it.
- -- Uncle Sam
Appearing in "Uncle Sam, Part One"
- Black Hawk
- Doctor Forrester
- Mister Bones
- Sen. Louis Cannon
- "Uncle Sam"
- Abraham Lincoln
- Jackie Kennedy
- John Connally
- John F. Kennedy
- Superman (In a photograph only)
- Amédé Ardoin
- John Casey (Behind the scenes)
- Ray Elliot
- Richard Charlton
- All-American Antiques
- "The City"
- Newfoundland Hotel
- Smokey the Bear poster
Synopsis for "Uncle Sam, Part One"
A strange, bearded vagrant named Sam wanders the streets of an American city at election time, trying desperately to remember who he is. To the confusion of all passerby, Sam seems incapable of communicating on his own, speaking solely in sound-bites and other quotations from politicians of years - if not decades - past.
As Sam searches the streets for food and shelter, his mind is preoccupied with tragedies across the United States, past and present alike. Without warning, he remembers himself as a farmer in Colonial America, arguing with his wife Bea on the righteousness of revolution; as a witness to the Kennedy assassination, feeling every bullet fired; as a bystander in the Gilded Age, recalling every immigrant family betrayed by the American Dream.
Eventually, Sam's wanderings take him out of the city and to a roadside curio shop. Without warning, several of the curios come alive, forcibly reminding him of more American sins. A wooden Indian confronts him over the mistreatment of Native Americans, symbolized by the Black Hawk War; a lawn jockey recalls the lynching of Amédé Ardoin, scornfully mocking America's claims to "freedom"; and a Civil War-themed chessboard gives him a glimpse of Andersonville Prison Camp, a legacy of a war both North and South learned precious little from.
After these three confrontations, Sam finds himself returned to the city, and sees a newscast announcing incumbent Senator Louis Cannon's crushing victory over first-time challenger Ray Elliot. After stumbling through a brutal recollection of the dust bowl, Sam comes face-to-face with Elliot, with whom he exchanges platitudes and diagnoses on the state of American democracy. Subsequently, Sam stumbles into Cannon's victory parade, where he sees a stilt-walker made up like himself - made up the way Uncle Sam "should" be.
Desperate for answers, Sam follows the parade into Cannon's campaign headquarters, where he hears the Senator deliver two speeches simultaneously: one a seemingly harmless victory celebration, the other a sneering admission of his voters' stupidity and the dishonest tactics that helped him win. Suddenly, the building is stormed by protesters, whom Cannon dismisses; as Sam rises to join them, he is heckled by the stilt-walker, who scorns his idealism and insists he no longer has any claim to the title of Uncle Sam.
Unwilling to surrender, Sam attacks the stilt-walker and is quickly ejected by Cannon's security guards. After yet another recollection - this time, of the Ford massacre - Sam finds himself jailed alongside several other protesters, whose motivations he intuitively names. Still hazy about his past, but now determined to save what remains of America and its democracy, Sam begins to plan escape.
- U.S. is a two-issue prestige format limited series published under DC's Vertigo imprint featuring the character of Uncle Sam. Though the cover copy identifies the title as U.S., the indicia identifies it as Uncle Sam.
- This issue is reprinted in the U.S. trade paperback and hardcover collection.
- The signage for the All-American Antiques building is crafted in the style of the All-American Comics logo, except in this instance, the logo is accompanied by a representation of the Earth-Two Superman.
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