Reuben Flagg was born at Hammarskjold center on Mars in 2000. He soon discovered a talent for entertaining which eventually landed him the lead role in the Plex sponsored television series, Mark Thrust: Sexus Ranger. After one season, the producers decided it would be cheaper to replace him using digital effects, presaging modern CGI performance capture by about 20 years. With no job and no prospects, Reuben opted to join the Plexus Rangers instead of serving in actual combat on Mars. His first duty assignment was as deputy ranger to Hilton 'Hammerhead' Krieger, the chief ranger of the Chicago Plexmall. Flagg soon proved himself tough, streetwise, and morally flexible enough to do the job well. When Hilton Krieger is murdered, Flagg inherits his pirate television station Q-USA. In his last will and testament, Krieger opens Flagg's eyes to Plexcorp's plan to sterilize the population of the United States using the drug Mananacillin, emptying it for a quick sale to the South American corporations.
Creation Howard Chaykin
is the creative powerhouse behind the American Flagg series. Flagg is a grand combination of all Chaykin's personal interests: jazz music, sex, politics, science fiction, all rolled up in an amazingly prescient package. Much of what Chaykin was writing about 28 years ago has already come to pass. He speculated the fall of The Soviet Union, the morning after contraceptive, a media saturated culture dominated by "reality" television programming and sports spectacle, and that's barely scratching the surface.
Chaykin won several awards for his work on American Flagg, including: nine Eagle Awards as well as a Hugo and a Nebula nomination. American Flagg is notable as the first comic book series to be nominated for the Nebula award by the Science Fiction Writers of America. The series has proven to be one of the most influential and inspirational independent comics ever produced.
Reuben Flagg is the stable lynch pin around which spins mass chaos. The point of his character is that while things constantly change around him, as his position changes, his core beliefs and value system remain intact. This wavered somewhat after Chaykin left the series as the writers that followed him tended to stray from the characterizations that were already established. During the course of his story, Flagg goes from actor to Ranger to President of the United States to absolute ruler of Illinois to political prisoner, finally coming full circle back to Ranger.
Major Story Arcs
The story arcs in American Flagg all center around Reuben. As the main protagonist of the story, we follow him through his first years as a Plexus Ranger. We're given the back story to the Plex Corporation and we see the declining state of the USA through his eyes. This becomes especially important later in the series when Reuben quits the Rangers and begins a tour of the United States. At the end of his journey, Reuben re-enlists with the Rangers and follows a trail of greed and corruption that takes him back to Hammarskjold Mars where he becomes President of the United States. This doesn't last and within a few weeks Reuben abdicates and returns back to Chicago, having gained Illinois freedom from The Plex. Unfortunately nobody cares about any of Reuben's political reforms, and everything pretty much returns to status-quo.