So the premise of this comic is as follows: all of the Earth’s superheroes go off into space to fight the big bad nasty. They all get smoked. Earth now has a ton of super powered sidekicks running rampant because with great power comes great responsibility…how many people really think that teenagers can handle responsibility well? Most teenagers aren’t responsible enough to get my Starbuck’s order right.
Landry Walker takes several established iconic super hero concepts and maps them over his teen sidekicks. Kid Vigilante (Batman) leads a team comprised of Jack Fearless (Nick Fury), the Magician (Doctor Strange), and Robot 9 (a Voltron-esque power suit character with a distinct manga feel) as they try to stop awfulness from happening due to the huge power vacuum caused by the absence of their mentors WHILE trying to ascertain and resolve a much bigger mystery. I’m going to make this review brief but I want to hit upon some key components as to why this book is amazing:
- The dialogue is fantastic. You get genuinely invested in the major characters because their dialogue creates is distinct “voice” for each character. Each glimpse into the major characters gives you just enough back ground to go, “oh, I wish I knew more about him/her.”
- The art is spiffy. Yeah…”spiffy”. It’s not Jim Lee or Frank Quitely but it’s appropriate to the story. The lines are clean and the backgrounds are well done. This book is very violent. Eric Jones artwork really conveys the energy of that violence. He does these little “retro flashback” pages at the beginning of each issue which are stylistically different and reminds me of the classics from the 60’s while still being relevant to the ongoing story.
(Yeah, that’s Apollo/Superman getting owned by Kid Vigilante and his “kryptonite” brass knuckles)
- The plot is well constructed. Landry does an excellent job creating a compelling story while giving you enough background on the characters to become invested in their plight. There are plot twists and betrayals and scenes that make you think. I know that sounds silly…but how many comics will show you something and then you have to stop for a moment to actually consider the ramifications of what was just said/done?
With that being said my only complaint about this first volume is that it ends poorly. And by “ending poorly” I mean “it ends in an awesome cliffhanger and I can’t wait until the next issue comes out”. I really hope that Walker and Jones continue to work on other more mature comics. They have a long track record of kids books such as the Little Gloomy franchise and Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade….but I’m really hoping they direct their talents into mainstream superhero comics because I’ll eagerly follow them into any upcoming project.