Review - The BeLIEver #1

With The Avengers streaking towards a value equivalent to the GDP of a small country, superheroes are all the rage these days. There's something about them that gives readers something to identify with in a strange way, whether it be a character trait or belief system.

The interesting thing about some heroes is that they themselves might not be fully convinced of what they believe in. Superheroes such as the Believer, the main character in the aptly named The BeLIEver #1, written and illustrated by Larry Morgan.

The Believer is a superhero with unexplained powers and a penchant for capturing 13 recently released supervillains wreaking havoc on the city. He brandishes a shield with a cross, matching the cross on his forehead and chestpiece, fighting to make the world a safer place.

His primary enemy in the first issue is one said supervillains, the man named Mitch Match, aka Burning Man. Burning Man is setting fires across the city in the hopes of killing the Believer, while at the same time providing contextually relevant references to hell.

At the center of the story is the seemingly significant death of Father Frank Abel, the founder and regular do-gooder involved with the Brotherstown Good Shepherd Boys' Home. He seemed to be a revered and respected individual in the city and his death will likely play a role in future issues.

Morgan's story is intriguing. It's not often that a superhero wears his beliefs on his sleeve. Believer is much like Captain America in that way. With Cap, you knew you were getting honesty, morality and a belief that the United States of America could do great things. Believer wears his convictions on his sleeve, saving those around him with little desire for attention or accolades.

What's interesting in the issue is the Christian symbolism. The issue opens with Believer comparing a blazing inferno to hell and Burning Man's propensity to, well, burn is much like the devil. There's also the obvious symbolism in the crosses on Believer's uniform, not to mention the importance of Father Abel's death.

The art is black and white and looks pretty good. Believer is illustrated as a true superhero and is depicted matching well against the supervillains. The main female character in the story--Nola Reese--is a little more endowed than normal, which is a little distracting.

The BeLIEver #1 is an interesting premise. There's a twist at the end which sets up the next issue and could payoff big if it's handled well. The issue is dripping with Christian symbolism, but it's not necessarily preachy or anything. The story has some potential.

The BeLIEver #1 is available now.