by Glenn Dakin (Writer), Ronan Cliquet (Artist), Ruth Redmond (Colorist)
The Story: It must be tough being a mom and ex-super hero, especially when villains come at your house to kill you.
The Review: The Revolutionary War storyline has been a rather weird and mostly repetitive affair so far. With an opening issue followed by multiple issue reintroducing older heroes from the UK, there has been a certain formula, yet one that has been used to produce some more off-beat stories despite some similarities in their events. Heroes are somewhere unfitting, Mys-Tech arrive, heroes gets back in the game or gets captured, the end. While they haven’t been terrible per se, some have been rather average to say the least.
This issue, with all the things it tries to do, is pretty much the same in terms of effects and qualities. It tries its best at times to provide some genuine moments and to entertain, yet there are some odd moments that don’t really add up more than it produce weirdness for its own sake. It is, perhaps, a more British trait that the comic tries to convey in the best of ways, yet it falls off the mark at times.
There are, of course, some really good ideas thrown in, courtesy of Glenn Dakin. Showing Motormouth, the past heroine, as a single mother of two after a short introduction scene to what she did before, Dakin does present an effective contrast in how life can change anyone given time. Presenting the character in a rather decent light, the manner in which she cares for her children, how she actually resents her past with Killpower and her more protective side makes her a rather touching and well-rounded character. With her struggle being the focus of the issue here, the essentials of this issue are simple, yet effective for readers to understand and sympathize with her.
Where it’s a little bit more jumbled, though, is how Dakin integrate multiple elements to his story that either don’t make much sense or are left underdeveloped. While the arrival of ”The Shame”, a gang of young people living in the same block, is something that does help the story and set up for potentially interesting interactions, it’s not used in the best of ways as Dakin insert some elements that don’t make much sense. The fact that they seem to have a feud with mascots or they reveal that there is a plant from the Savage Lands growing in the basement don’t really add much to the story. In fact, it sometimes breaks the flow, hurting it in minor ways.
The action and the light touches of humor, though, are rather nice. While not spectacular or gut-wrenchingly funny, those little touches are easily appreciated. Giving the story a little identity of its own without removing much from the intended effects, the writer weave a good lot of personality in the dialogue and the action making this a more successful effort than others in the Revolutionary War effort.
The art of Ronan Cliquet is also more on the positive side, with the artist showing an ability to adapt himself to show the better parts of the script. With a more cartoony intro that evolves into a more regular super hero story, Cliquet shows a certain contrast that adds to the effect of before and after with Motormouth and her previous life as a super hero.
The artist, however, struggles a bit with very thick lines that don’t always help when it comes to finer details and more subtle moments. While he is able to present the right emotions at the right time, there is a certain roughness to them that don’t really make them the best they could be, resulting in a certain diminished range from the artist. There are times when he surprisingly comes through and deliver some very subtle emotions, but those are unfortunately far and few.
Someone who fares well, though, is Ruth Redmond. With the colorization being rather potent in terms of mood thanks to a good use of backgrounds, Redmond is able to use simple and striking contrasts in many places. Red, orange, blue, pink mesh in with much more normal and duller colors, allowing for the more classical moments to not only fit in with the extraordinary, but to also clash with it in its own way. There are some light touch of shading and a good understanding of bright and dark spots that leave some coloring decisions a bit more striking as a result. It is a quite competent handle that Redmond shows here, which does help tremendously at times.
The Conclusion: There might be some questionable moments and the plot may be a bit obvious at times, yet there are some fun moments, some good characterization overall for the main character and some decent art, resulting in a book that is more a hit than a miss where it counts. A decent book in general.
Hugo Robberts Larivière