Thursday, June 16, 2016

Review - The F1rst Hero: Wednesday's Child #1 (@ActionLab)


"And now, little one, if you wouldn't mind reciting their final instructions, please."

Discovering powers in oneself is always a trial of sorts. Learning how to use them, what to use them for and what it all means are just some of the mini-crises that a superpowered individual may experience. Jake Roth asks those questions and more in The F1rst Hero: Wednesday's Child #1 from Action Lab Entertainment. The issue is written by Anthony Ruttgaizer, illustrated by Marco Renna and lettered/colored by Fred C. Stresing.

Jake Roth returns home after the events of ACTIONVERSE just in time to face a new extrahuman threat that's menacing the streets of Philadelphia. And as dangerous as an eight year old girl who can control minds might be...wait until you meet her mother! Meanwhile, the ETF is working night and day to neutralize the growing extrahuman threat. Could they be closing in on Jake?

Ruttgaizer opens the issue quite ominously, setting up a very clear antagonist before offering up the protagonist. That protagonist is Jake Roth and Ruttgaizer uses him as the driver for the story--sometimes relying quite heavy on his inner monologue narrating the events. In many ways, The F1rst Hero: Wednesday's Child #1 reads something like an origin story of sorts as Jake is learning about his abilities to square off against a new supervillain sort. Ruttgaizer knows the formula works and uses it to his advantage for the purpose of the tale. The issue is paced along the same lines as well, moving through the story deliberately prior to offering a somewhat intriguing reveal at the end.

The illustrations by Renna feel somewhat basic. Renna's characters are very basic in their appearance and some of the facial expressions aren't very fleshed out, making it difficult to more accurately discern what emotion is relevant on what panel. The backgrounds are pretty simplistic and don't really do much other than simply set the context for the panel. All of the panels sit atop empty gutters which makes the relative simplicity of the artwork stand out that much more. And the colors by Stresing are minimally muted, drawing upon washed out hues to give each color a different look.

The F1rst Hero: Wednesday's Child #1 is an interesting first issue that's setting the stakes for things to come. Jake Roth is something of a reluctant here coming to grips with his abilities and if he doesn't so quickly things could get really tough for him. Ruttgaizer's story plays into this dynamic very well. The artwork by Renna is simple and focuses on the important aspects of the book. The F1rst Hero: Wednesday's Child #1 draws upon fairly familiar superhero dynamics and doesn't stray too far from the formula.

The F1rst Hero: Wednesday's Child #1 is in stores now.

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