Chain Reactions | <i>Danger Club #1</i>

This week brought the debut of a new creator-owned comic from Landry Q. Walker and Eric Jones, the creative team behind DC's Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade and SLG's Little Gloomy. While the duo have made a name for themselves doing kid-friendly titles, Danger Club #1 is definitely not for kids. The comic's premise is that all the world's superheros left for space a few months back to battle an alien threat, leaving their sidekicks behind to fend for themselves. Things fall apart, to say the least.

So what did folks think of the first issue? Here's a round-up of opinions:

Erika Peterman, Girls Gone Geek: "Writer Landry Q. Walker sets a fast pace and doesn’t waste a lot of time with setup or character introductions. This is an efficient, action-packed story that makes the most of the comic’s premise. Left to their own devices, a bunch of agitated, powerful youngsters are fighting among themselves, jockeying for position and abandoning their ideals. With apologies to The Who, the kids are not alright. I’m thinking 'Lord of the Flies,' only with teleportation, giant robots and sonic blasts. Walker has created quite an interesting cast of characters to develop."

Doug Zawisza, Comic Book Resources: "Eric Jones won me over from the start with a fun flashback-style recap/history page seemingly torn from a comic we haven't seen yet that leads into this story we hold in our hands. That page is two panels, drawn a little more cartoonishly by Jones and colored by Michael Drake to invoke the feel (and darn near smell) of an older comic recently rescued from its bagged and boarded prison. It also acts as a nice contrast to the hyper-detailed modern-day tale that follows."

Josh Cabrera, Kaboooom: "But then again, how new is the world of this comic? The premise of this book leans so heavily on superhero comics culture that it can be difficult to judge what should be assumed and what has yet to be defined. The analogues between the characters in this comic and well-known superheroes are numerous, but these characters may or may not act or talk like the famous characters they look like. Should we assume that the heroes who have left this world are similar to the Justice League or the Avengers? Are the characters in this comic just like regular heroes, only younger? These questions might definitely be answered in future issues, but for now readers would not know what to think."

Greg Burgas, Comics Should Be Good!: "More than the fact that teenagers are brutalizing each other is the fact that Walker does nothing to build the characters. We have only the 'hero’s' version of the story, and who knows if he’s really supposed to be the hero. This kind of story has no emotional resonance because we don’t know the characters at all. Sure, Apollo acts like a jerk, but Kid Vigilante doesn’t seem any better. We don’t know if Apollo is a stone cold murderer, but we do know that Kid Vigilante is. We have no idea who any of these characters are, so even though we see Apollo acting like a jerk, we see it only briefly before Kid Vigilante comes in and acts even more like a jerk, and even more of a bully than Apollo was. There’s no reason to like any of these characters, there’s no reason to care about these characters, and there’s no reason to think Kid Vigilante is any better than Apollo is. I know that the presence of a likable character isn’t totally necessary, but in this case, I think the way Walker goes about this first issue is wrong. If you’re going to have an 'ultimate evil,' you really should have someone fighting it that the reader can root for. After one issue, I’m kind of hoping the thing in space comes in and kills all of these rotten children."

Jason Bowles, Science Fiction.com: This is a dark book, but I liked it. The art is particularly nice, in that these actually looked like kids. They were all skinny and gangly. Too often, teen heroes just look like shorter adult characters with bulging muscles. These kids have muscles, but they are more realistically proportioned. The art definitely has an Image vibe to it, in that it’s stylized and slightly anime-inspired. It fits and works very well.

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