While I’ve never tried out “Firebreather”, I have been vaguely aware of its existence, as I respect the talent that Phil Hester brings to the work he takes on. While there is a collection of Firebreather available -â€” “Firebreather: Growing Pains” -â€” I have not sought that out. I decided that I would give it a go with the first issue.
This issue is extremely entry-level, to both the concept of the character and the world he lives in. Duncan Rosenblatt is a teenager on the eve of his sixteenth birthday -â€” the most liberating day of any teen’s life. One major difference though â€”- Duncan’s dad is a massive, Godzilla-level monster, named Belloc, who evidently had issues that preempted his marriage to Duncan’s mother, a “normal” woman.
“Firebreather” #1 paves the way for the rest of the series, introducing new readers to Duncan, his parents, and some additional peripheral cast -â€” such as Mr. Pashos, the owner of the local ice cream parlor, and Colonel Barnes, Duncan’s caseworker and liaison who also happens to have a day job monitoring Belloc.
Kuhn does an admirable job on the art, making it detailed and strong when it needs to be and recognizing moments when the backgrounds need to be toned down. It’s no accident, either, that his style is very reminiscent of Phil Hester’s own. This collaboration brings out the strengths in both creators.
It’s not every kid who has a giant monster for a dad, and therein, Hester and Kuhn find a great hook for the series. Not only does Duncan face the problems of a “normal” teen, but he also has this other world pressing against his shoulders, waiting for him to recognize it and assume his proper place therein.
Issue #1 is already out and issue #2 is at the printers, readying for release soon. If you’re looking for something new, something different and not “Final-Secret-Invasion-Crisis-Crossovery” give this book a shot. This is one of those books that needs a little more support, as it takes on the summer behemoths with the strength and tenacity Duncan Rosenblatt displays against the giant in his own life.