Review - Idolized #1

American Idol and shows of its ilk are pretty much played out at this point. While that's true, it's also true that shows of its ilk that feature people with superpowers are completely new. It's the latter that Aspen Comics is focusing on in Idolized #1, a brand new series from the publisher.

The first issue in the brand new series is written by David Schwartz, penciled by Micah Gunnell, colored by David Curiel and lettered by Josh Reed.
Leslie Lin is playing the revenge and redemption angle to get on a new reality show offering superheroes a chance to become part of the Powered Protectors. She sees it as an opportunity to win the spot on the team and extract vengeance on Stasis, a supervillain with a checkered past. And he's crossed paths with Leslie in her youth.

As far as first issues go, Schwartz has written an incredibly tight one. The entire bulk of the issue shows Leslie's path to the present. On its surface, that seems relatively boring, but it shows what Stasis did to her and her motivation for joining the competition.

To Leslie, the show isn't just a game, or a shot at fame. It really is a chance at redemption and revenge, two things that Leslie will seek out. The reality TV show just so happens to be the most direct path to her goal. Schwartz has imbued her with a very believable--yet somewhat naive--motivation that she will win the competition and extract her revenge.

There's little really revealed regarding the actual competition she'll be a part of. Judging by how the first issue played out, it wouldn't be surprising to see either the second issue focused on the rules or for the show to continue to be the backstory. Whatever path Schwartz takes the reader down, both should be enjoyable.

Gunnell's pencils are equally as strong as Schwartz's writing. There's something unique about the illustrations that really seems to set this comic apart from others. Leslie is depicted as an almost innocent bystander throughout, but she shows the capacity to be so much more when called upon to do so.

Depending on how much emphasis the series puts on the reality show aspect of it, Gunnell could have a lot of fun in depicting the different contestants. There will likely be a big showdown at some point down the line, which might be the only time there are panels depicting a big battle. Curiel's coloring is not too overpowering, showing a commitment to his craft.

As a series, Idolized is setting up very well. Obviously, if (and when) Leslie wins the competition and joins the Powered Protectors, the comic will take on a different feel. Until then, enjoy reading about Leslie's path to redemption, making a stop for revenge along the way. She's at least got the power to shut up an annoying judge, so imagine what she'll do when it comes to facing an actual nemesis.

Idolized #1 is in stores July 8 with interiors below.