Something new came across my desk today. It was issue one of Super, a new comic from publisher Jay Crow Comics. Issue two is part of a new Kickstarter project that ends this week, and the publisher is excited to get funding to continue his story.
Super is a dark comic with an antihero—an angry young man with powers that uses them to resolve the military conflicts of the day. He seems burdened with glorious purpose, to borrow a phrase, with no clear alignment with the American military, much to their alarm. Who is he? How does he do what he does? Why is he doing it? Who’s side is he on? These questions are not answered in issue one, so fans of the comic are encouraged to chip in over at Kickstarter to make issue two a reality.
Although the inking style was a bit heavy for my tastes, and occasional word balloons laden with exposition assaulted me here and there, overall the comic was a solid effort for a first endeavor, and it touched upon political problems of our day in regards to American military intervention overseas. This could have created a smartly written comic that appealed to adult audiences, but the story fell short.
My problem with the first issue of Super was that it was spent entirely on developing the setting. At one point, the young flying enigma we know only as “Mark” makes self-aware comments that he’s not some silly costumed hero who fights petty criminals. He is meant for greater things. Unfortunately, greater things don’t happen in the first issue.
We see smoke. We see ruins. We don’t see much of how or why. Too many pages were spent on the backstory of characters who weren’t immediately important, as well as flashbacks that pulled us back and forth through time. The end result was a fragmented narrative. This was a story intended to unfold over several issues. Regrettably, I only had the one issue to review.
The idea of super-powered, everyday people is not a new idea. Some of you may recall Jim Shooter’s New Universe in the 80s that explored for a short time this very concept across several titles. Star Brand in particular came to mind when I read Super (before the powers-that-be festooned him with a costume), where a young man suddenly gifted with powers takes on some of the military conflicts of his day. The television series, Heroes, also came to mind. It remains to be seen how Super will play out.
However, judging by the failed suicide of the last pages, this is a gritty tale more like Frank Miller’s Dark Knight than anything Marvel published in the 80s. If the narrative in issue two can just weigh anchor and set sail, there might be a very interesting tale to be told in Super.
Release Date: September 4, 2014 (USA)
Publisher: Jay Crow Comics
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (one drink, though it may have been a cola)
Language: 1 (one s-word, some deity)
Sexuality: 1 (implied adultery)
Violence: 3 (death, destruction, implied suicide)