Sep 7, 2014

[REVIEW] "Super" Issue #1 by Joshua Crowthers (@Crognus)

In a previous review of the new comic series "Solitary" I mentioned that I tend to only kickstarter Graphic Novels that are completed, and I would receive the whole story at once.  Due to my child like level of patience, I find it frustrating waiting to find out what happens next.  Chalk it up to the society we live in that everything is available on demand.

I mentioned that I backed Solitary even though that was the 1st issue of a forthcoming series, because I liked the storyline that was presented and was intrigued by it.  Likewise, I found myself backing another comic, this one called "Super", this one kickstarting issue #2, and once again I found myself intrigued by the story idea.

In "Super", a new comic series by Joshua Crowther's Utah based indie comic publisher' "Jay Crow Comics", it's basically about what happens when regular people with powers, decide to get involved in real world political situations.   Think: Drone strikes, terrorist attacks, etc.

These aren't world renowned super heroes, these aren't colorful cape wearing people that are from other planets, or are mutated, these are just regular people who happen to have powers that enable them to do things that none of us regular folk could.  What do you do with these powers?  Can you sit by and watch as innocent people in third world countries are decimated, all in the name of politicking?

Imagine you woke up tomorrow and you were invincible.   You could fly, you could do a lot of things that you could only dream of at the moment.  What would you do?  Would you use your powers for good?  For evil?  Rob banks? Get vengeance for all those who pushed you around?  Quit your job, use your powers to make money?  And say you use your powers to intervene in international political situations: How would the government respond to you?  Consider you a threat, perhaps? 

It's an interesting question, especially when you throw in the "greater good" notion, that you can't just sit by and do nothing when so many people are dying and you potentially have the power to save them.  That's the quandary that one of the main characters, Mark, finds himself in in the 1st issue of Super.

The 1st issue basically covers two stories.  One in present day, and one in the years leading up to present day.  In the present day the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Colbert is a man who is dealing with family troubles, and a mysterious sighting somewhere that was picked up by one of the American Satellites.

The other story is leading up to that where two friends, Mark and Jordan, talk about whether or not they should get involved in helping those that needed it in the country of Surran.  One thing that I found distracting, although it seems many comics do this, is when the comic writers will mask the names of real life places, and companies and even sports teams.

Brandon Perlow's excellent "The Rock Thrower" did that with the baseball teams, altering the names of teams such as The New York Yankees to the "Jankees".  Super does that with Surran (I assume by the references to their leaders potentially using nerve gas on them, that Surran is Syria), and their leader Al Saed (Assad?).

I don't pretend to understand the need for a lot of these comics to do this, although it was explained to me that due to those being copyrighted, that you had to alter it a bit.  To ME, anyway, that makes no sense, as I don't see the government going after a comic book for using the title "CIA" to refer to people who worked in the CIA, but then's not my ass on the line if someone steps over the bounds of legalities, so...yeah.

Other than that, the comic is pretty damn good.  Some of the writing I thought was a tad bit cliche, mainly with the conversation between Colbert and his estranged wife, but it wasn't bad or anything like that.  At a certain point I suppose all dialogue along those lines are going to feel familiar, especially if you've gone through something of that nature.  Or you've seen countless romantic dramas in your lifetime.  Not...that I watching those types of movies, of course it's all raunchy comedies and balls to the wall action for me, folks! *guilty look away*

I'm not qualified to debate the artwork, as I'm not an artist, so I won't.  I will say the art was perfectly fine, and enjoyable to look at.  I've seen some comics where the art is just horrible, or it didn't really fit the story, if that makes sense.  This was perfectly suitable to the story being told.

I'm very interested to see where this story goes, and a specific scene at the end really kinda hit me, as it was one of those things I had never thought of.  Perhaps the downside to a despondent super hero that is invincible. 

I encourage everyone to support this Kickstarter.  Anyone that pledges at least a $1 gets access to the updates, which will give you a free copy of Issue #1 in PDF format, so you can read it on your tablet, or phone, or you can read it on your PC/Mac computer.

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