Friday, April 6, 2012

Bullet Review: Danger Club #1

Danger Club #1 came out this week, the latest work of Cosmic Adventures of Supergirl creative team Landry Walker and Eric Jones. I don't think I need to linger on the fact that I loved Cosmic and subsequently the duo's work on Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

So there was no doubt I would be on board for Danger Club. I've been looking forward to it since it's announcement. The premise sounded a bit darker than those other books. The Earth's adult heroes have all died leaving the sidekicks in charge. Can super-powered teens keep things in order?

There is no doubt things are darker right from the cover. The title name is blood spattered. The city behind the heroes is a ruined mess. And the light is shining on spiked knuckles on a clenched fist.

 And yet the opening page is something of a throwback, looking like the first page in a comic from the 70's.

The page is a great opener. It introduces us, at least in name, to the Danger Club. The "titanic teen trio' is made up of Kid Vigilante, Fearless, and The Magician. It shows us Apollo, a key character in the issue and even hints at his weakness. And we see Kid Monstro and The Princess, characters we learn very quickly have been taken out by Apollo.

But most of all, it works because of its innocent feel. This looks like Silver Age material. But the following pages are all brutal and dark. The world is in danger. The majority of sidekicks appear out of control. They are fighting amongst themselves in an arena, all for the amusement and approval of Apollo who has set himself up as a messiah. So this opening page lets us know that things were simpler and better at one point. Things have changed.

Luckily, the Danger Club has kept its moral compass and knows it needs to shut Apollo down. An unbelievably savage battle between Kid Vigilante and Apollo. Vigilante comes across as a Tim Drake sort of Robin-like character, always one step ahead. The pages explode off the page and are truly pulse-pounding!

We also see the rest of the team in action. Fearless seems to be a Bucky style brawler. The Magician is a spellcaster. Robot 9 is a mecha piloted by technophile young girl named Yoshimi. I even like the look of Apollo who just reeks of Kirby-ness.

Well, that moral compass is strained here as tough times lead to hard decisions.

Good first issues need a hook to keep me coming back and this one did it with this declaration by the Kid. Whatever killed the heroes is still coming to Earth. There is a threat here that needs to be prepared for, that needs to be fought. There isn't time to waste on nonsense like this. And Danger Club is preparing for it ... hopeful that others will join.

This would have been a great last panel. I was hooked here. But Walker and Jones have a couple of more pages to show us, making it clear that the Danger Club won't let anything stand in their way of defending Earth and it's people, will cross some ethical lines if they have to.

Well, all I can say is 'wow'. This book was just fantastic, introducing us to the characters, setting up the premise while delivering unreal action, some of the most blood-soaked fight scenes I have read recently. And it left me wanting more. That is what a first issue is supposed to do.

This isn't Cosmic. But it is great. I highly recommend it!

Overall grade: A

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