Review - Halcyon & Tenderfoot #1

Comics are soaring in popularity these days. We're well past the time of Superman being faster than a speeding bullet and are in an age where they actually mean something. Characters die (albeit not for long) in comics now. They grapple with social issues like immigration and gay marriage. And more and more are focusing on family as a key cog in the superhero dynamic.

Halcyon & Tenderfoot #1 is the latest to capitalize on family ties, written by Daniel Clifford and illustrated by Lee Robinson (published by Art Heroes). It's about a superhero who defends a city and brings his son along for the ride.

Halcyon is both the first and greatest hero Brink City has even known. He's got everything needed to be a great superhero: power, responsibility and charisma. The citizens love him. His accolades don't come without a cost though, as he's made his fair share of enemies as well. Cue Tenderfoot, his new sidekick to help fight the baddies.

Tenderfoot is Halcyon's equally gifted son, whose power is incredible speed. He's chomping at the bit to prove to his dad and Brink City that he has what it takes to be a great hero, including making a attention grabbing save at the rally to introduce him. That rally is the catalyst that sets off Davis, a villain who lives in his mom's basement after being released from jail.

The writing in Halcyon & Tenderfoot #1 is brisk and light. It reads like The Incredibles or Megamind to an extent and I'm fairly certain that's what Clifford was going for. There's nothing too heady per se in the dialogue, but the events that transpire are heavy hitting. The book's tone is jovial until the end when a pretty dramatic incident occurs, which will send the comic in a different direction for sure.

Robinson's art matches the writing well. It's all black and white, which works here. Halcyon and Tenderfoot bear a resemblance to Mr. Incredible and Dash respectively, allowing the reader to make that connection mentally and get a feel for the book. There's one page that's broken into nine panels where Tenderfoot is badgering Halcyon throughout the day for crime to fight and is laid out pretty well.

Halcyon & Tenderfoot #1 can be purchased at the Art Heroes website in a variety of purchase and subscription options. There's the physical copy (£3/$7.50), digital copy (£1.75/$2.80), physical subscription with four exclusive gifts (£12/$19.13) and the digital subscription (£7/$11.16). It's slated to launch March 31 at the Newcastle City Library and will be making appearances thereafter at the following:

Saturday 5th May: Free Comic Book Day, Newcastle City Library
Saturday 12th - Sunday 13th May: Bristol Comic Expo, Brunel’s Old Station
Saturday 17th - Sunday 18th May: Thought Bubble, Armouries Leeds

It's a great all-ages comic that has an exciting conclusion to the first issue that could make the next issues that much more intriguing. Check out some interiors below and the book should be available March 31.