Review - Danger Club #1

Superheroes and sidekicks go together like peanut butter and jelly. How else would major metropolitan areas survive if there wasn't a hero in waiting to replace the main one in a worst case scenario? Would those sidekicks step up if called upon? Would the citizens feel just as safe?

Danger Club #1 from Image Comics is a book that features just a scenario. It's written by Landry Q. Walker and illustrated by Eric Jones, colored by Michael "Rusty" Drake and lettered by Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt.

The sidekicks in Danger Club are faced with a seemingly daunting level of responsibility after all the world's superheroes just up and leave to fight some far off peril. That's all good and well, but none of them find their way back, leaving a void of heroism to be filled. That void includes one of their own, Apollo, laying claim to the recently vacated title of world's greatest superhero.

There's an interesting dynamic at play among the sidekicks. Apollo is counting on his power to give him sway in ruling over all the others. In his mind, he's the most powerful one left and therefore should be the one in charge. Ivan, Jack, Yoshimi and Kid Vigilante disagree though, leading to a fairly epic donnybrook and laser-filled ending.

The concept is clever and Walker presents the first issue with tinges of Lord of the Flies in it. Since most of the time a sidekick is a kid (or younger at least), Danger Club has all these kids struggling amongst themselves, both to be heroes and adults. The results are somewhat, well, dangerous, but you're left to surmise that at least some of the sidekicks "get it."

They realize that being a hero is more than just helping the superhero out. It's about making tough decisions that benefit the many as opposed to the few. Apollo is portrayed as a classic villain here (similar to Ozymandias in Watchmen), assuming that because he's the most powerful that all others should simply fall in line behind him. It's never that simple though, regardless of your capabilities.

Jones' art is exceptionally slick, giving the book that superhero feel. This is very much a capes and tights book so to speak, but Jones does a superb job in capturing the uncertainty of the almost reluctant heroes. These sidekicks didn't asked to be thrust into the spotlight and they're all handling it differently, something Jones gets. The colors by Drake are also bold and cover a wide spectrum, adding to the panels.

Danger Club #1 is a cool idea whose first issue is pretty jam-packed. The ending seems very definite yet--as with just about any comic--the results may vary. It'll be interesting to see why exactly the superheroes haven't come back and if they ever do will they be pitted against the sidekicks. The sidekicks don't necessarily want to be heroes just yet, but clearly it's being thrust upon them regardless.

Danger Club #1 hits stores April 4. Interiors are below.