With more than a few similarities to a world-famous superhero, “Captain Ultimate” might be allegorical or it might simply be enjoyable. Reading the letters page from the creative team of writers Benjamin Bailey and Joey Esposito with artist Boykoesh, colorist Ed Ryzowski and letterer Adam O. Pruett, it becomes a little more clear that this is less homage and more a direct attempt to put some fun back into comics.
Before reaching that single page of text in “Captain Ultimate” #1, it’s quite clear that this comic is supposed to be fun and energetic. Boykoesh’s characters and panel construction are playful and cartoony, with just enough detail to inform the story around the prototypical hero and starstruck fanboy, Milo. The artist clearly is having fun with the work on the page while trying to keep those pages clean and uncluttered. Ryzowski’s colors match Boykoesh’s buoyant drawings nicely, but the duo could certainly add some more depth and shading to their work to ground the characters a bit more and tie things tighter together.
Bailey and Esposito have crafted a world with a hero who is more myth than reality, not because of his methods but because of his absence. The youth of that world look up to the Super Revenging Society whose membership includes the Grim Avenger, Dr. Brood Warrior, Venus de Muscles, Rude Justice and BlÃ¼d Knight. The writers don’t divulge much on those characters in this installment, but I have no doubt we’ll see more of them as we move forward. For the most, Milo serves as the narrator and gateway character for the reader in “The Day the Giant Robot Octopus Alien Monster Attacked the City.” Based on his actions in this story, Milo will soon be known as “the boy who stood up,” which sends a nice tease to readers in this upbeat comic.
“Captain Ultimate” is a nice all-ages-friendly read, with touches borrowed from “The Incredibles,” “Superman,” “Herobear and the Kid,” and countless other classic comic books. Bailey and Esposito may not be forging completely new ground here, but they are adding more fun into comics, which the medium sorely needs. With this first adventure of Captain Ultimate complete, I’m looking forward to more, especially as the creative adds depth to the foundation they’ve placed here.