Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Review - All Time Comics: Crime Destroyer #1 (@fantagraphics)


"I'll sway them to do the right thing."

Choosing a life of crime is one thing. Choosing a life of fighting crime is another thing entirely. The latter typically brings with it a massive burden of responsibility, but there are some like Crime Destroyer in All Time Comics: Crime Destroyer #1 from Fantagraphics who's up to the challenge. The issue is written by Josh Bayer, illustrated by Herb Trimpe and inked by Benjamin Marra.

After years of facing enemies in battle during shadowy overseas conflicts...seeing friends' bodies mutilated and maimed...a man returns to find the streets of the city he fought for ravaged by crime. Using his military special forces training to create a secret arsenal of high-tech prototypical weaponry, he begins his own war against crime.

There's a great sense of nostalgia in Bayer's approach to both the character and the story in All Time Comics: Crime Destroyer #1. Crime Destroyer is a fully confident and capable superhero who relies on his combat prowess to see precarious situations through to the end; Bayer uses these personality traits well. What makes him more interesting though is his almost singular focus on justice, so much so that Bayer lets nothing stand in Crime Destroyer's way. There is one drawback to the script in that it's tremendously dense. Bayer packs in a lot to the issue and there's a ton of expository to wade through in order to get through the plot.

Trimpe's artwork infuses the book with an old-school comic sensibility as it emphasizes characters in an older way. Crime Destroyer looks like a legitimate superhero in that he's well-built and convinces the reader that he can hold his own when going up against bad guys. And even though the characters have been around for a while, Trimpe does a great job in modernizing their look without sacrificing the throwback mentality of the work. There's also a special attention to cross-hatching that gives the illustrations more depth. Marra's inks are bold as well, further accentuating the unique look of the characters that are definitely characters in the comic book sense.

All Time Comics: Crime Destroyer #1 is a pretty involved first issue that asks a lot of its reader, but the payoff is satisfying. Crime Destroyer is committed to helping out those in need and he won't let anyone stand in his way. Bayer's script is packed with a lot of dialogue, but the overarching plot makes sense. Trimpe's artwork is phenomenal as always and brings an old-world feeling to a modern-day comic. All Time Comics: Crime Destroyer #1 promises a good mix of superhero vengeance paired with a unique cast of villains to square off against.

All Time Comics: Crime Destroyer #1 is available now.

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