Review - Rapid City #11

The creator wave that's crashing through comics is funny when you think about it. You have young guns striving to cut their teeth in an unforgiving industry, able to write about just about anything. At the end of the day though, more and more are sticking with the tried and true superhero formula.

Rapid City #11 from Monolith is another in that line, written by Josh Dahl and illustrated by A. Kaviraj. It's a city full of superheroes and villains, both fighting battles that stretch far beyond fistfights with each other.

The primary superhero in Rapid City is Kinetic, a superhero who's fighting to contain the drug trade occurring in a small park. Think Lesley Knope, only with more superpowers and less chipperness. He's warned (sort of) not to bother, because in the end it will ultimately amount to very little.

Kinetic starts off winning the battle relatively easily. On the first few nights he evicts a small-time drug dealer who decides to keep trying. Finally, the dealer's superior steps in and sends some muscle of his own, a supervillain if you will that engages Kinetic in a knockdown, dragout fight, leaving the park wrecked.

Dahl's premise is interesting. It doesn't seem so much up front, but once you read it you realize he's adding a depth to superheroes that's not often explored. Sure, Batman will help wipe drug dealers from a park, but usually only because either he knows someone affected by the crime or because they work for a bigger player he's trying to get to.

Rarely are superheroes portrayed as simply wanting to do good. One of the other characters even posits an interesting idea in asking how would people know if someone that's a superhero one night doesn't change masks and become a supervillain the next night. There's a facet behind having powers that hasn't really been explored before now and Dahl is diving right in.

The pacing of the issue is a little erratic. There are quite a few exchanges where one line of dialogue is sort of spread out across multiple panels. Two characters will be having a back and forth where each panel is a response, which comes across as seeming Dahl was just trying to fill space. It sort of stops the flow of the story at certain points.

Kaviraj's art is solid. The book is black and white, which is a convention that can be used way too much and not work. It works here though, adding a grittiness to Rapid City that is presumably the motivating factor for Kinetic wanting to do good.

Rapid City #11 drops the reader straight into Rapid City. It really is the 11th issue of the series, but it's the first one to hit print. Dahl has up to 26 issues scripted on his blog, but really, what fun is to read ahead without the art. All in all, Rapid City #11 offers a fresh perspective on the superhero psyche with some strong art but some relatively awkward dialogue exchanges at times.

Rapid City #11 is available now.


  1. Thanks for the review!

    Rapid City #1 is now out and #2 should be out in a few days.

    And we keep a production blog at


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