By Skipper Martin (writer), Christopher Provencher (art), Wes Dzioba (colors)
Bizarre New World is another one of those, what I like to call “reality super hero” books. It’s when the creators take a very ordinary person living in modern times, give him powers, and let the rest play out. Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass is another book in similar vein (though a bit more on the extreme side). With Bizarre New World, everything is subtle and more grounded.
The story’s premise is a simple one. Paul Krutcher is your average joe working as a programmer (or editor) at a movie studio in Los Angeles. He’s divorced, has a son whom he gets to see every once in a while, and lives a painfully normal life. Then one day, out of the blue, Paul discovers he can fly. From there, the rest of the issue revolves around his discovery, testing his limitations, and basically just trying to figure out if he’s got any other powers.
Skipper Martin (who Paul is modeled after), writes a very believable person with Paul. His mannerisms and reactions are genuine. It also helps that he’s a like-able guy. Much of the credit has to go to penciler Christopher Provencher who’s been burdened with the task of making this story work. I’d say a third of this book is completely silent with Paul just flying around and seeing what he can do. Provencher not only pulls off his storytelling with flying colors (no pun intended), but the expressions he puts on Paul’s face hammer home the array of emotions he’s feeling.
Weighing in at a hefty 48 pages for only $3.50, Bizarre New World is well worth your money. It’s an origin story that reads very quickly, but you’ll also stop every once in a while just to take in the art. It’s not flashy by any means, but the storytelling is done masterfully. I caught one grammar error in the book, but hey, no one’s perfect. And someone get Provencher an inker, his stuff would look so much better! (Grade: A)