This book seems to be gearing towards a “sidelines” story, where we’re going to be given the perspective of the “main action” (that being the quarrel between supers) from an ordinary human, although one who’s tied inextricably with the formation of these beings. Irene Curie has a ringside seat in a not-Ironman suit, watching as Steele (not-Superman), Excelerator (not-Flash or not-Quicksilver), and even Gregor Samsa doing his best not-Antman (This one made me smile; it's not often we get a little Kafka in our pages.) counter the Gray Skull and his mad German doctor commander. At first I was very confused at the bold ripoffs, but once I realized that they were simply being used as vague icons to be ignored but for the idea of them in favor of the action centering on Curie’s heir. At least that’s where I think Serge Lehman and Fabrice Colin are going.
I dig the feel of the artwork a good deal; the tone hearkens back to the four-color panels of the time period. With an artistic style to match, the nostalgia factor is very present and effective. Gess mixes in more contemporary effects with action and composition in the panels to give it a less-dated feel without undoing the tone and feel of the piece as a whole. Fans of the books of yesteryear will feel right at home within these pages.
This seems like a series that will fly in the face of current conventions in the genre and form, and in that way it has the potential for being a refreshing and innovative look at the genre and form, as well. It’s well worth your time.
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