Review - Indestructible: Stingray #1

"Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the newest member of the League of Defenders--Stingray!"

The motivations of a superhero are varied for sure. If it's not one thing it's another, but more often than not decisions are made that take into account the actions of others. What those decisions end up being aren't always viewed as the best, as they are in Indestructible: Stingray #1 from Darby Pop. The issue is written by Jeff Marsick, illustrated by Luca Reguzzoni, colored by Zac Atkinson and lettered by Troy Peteri.

It’s tough enough being a mutant teenager, but imagine the challenges when you’re surrounded by role models driven wholly by power, money, and fame. Kelly, a.k.a. Stingray, finds herself the newest member of the League of Defenders, America’s premiere super-team, and most dysfunctional “family.”

Indestructible: Stingray #1 was the winner from the Darby Pop's Breaking Into Comics contest that tasked entrants with scripting a one-off issue focused on Stingray, a former superhero who turned (or was led) down a darker path. Marsick's backstory for Stingray felt original and fascinating. She's a superhero for sure, but she's also a teenager and someone's daughter, both of which carry with them traits that affect her decision-making. Marsick does a great job of introducing the characters to the reader in a way that feels organic and offers a build-up towards an ending that's hinted at yet unexpected. It's a solid script that's paced very evenly and offers dialogue that's clean.

Reguzzoni doesn't shy away from imbuing Indestructible: Stingray #1 with all the trappings of a superhero comic book. Each of the characters are illustrated in a way that amplifies their powers, ensuring the reader knows who's the muscle and who's the brains in the group. Stingray in particular is given ample time to showcase her appearance and Reguzzoni presents her in a way that feels realistic in terms of how the media would approach her. Still, there are some instances where she's illustrated more or less in a way that just shows off her looks, regardless of whether or not it adds any value to the story. There are a few action sequences that Reguzzoni handles pretty well and Atkinson's colors are bright and fit the work.

Indestructible: Stingray #1 is a strong one-off that fans of Indestructible will definitely want to check out. It offers a backstory on a character that's both emotional and somewhat an origin story, tapping into her personality and personal interactions. Marsick's script is straightforward and presents a look at a character with complexity. Reguzzoni's illustrations are clean and defined, infusing the book with a superhero feel. Indestructible: Stingray #1 is a worthy one-shot in the Indestructible universe that explores some of the motivations behind one of its lesser-known characters.

Indestructible: Stingray #1 is in stores May 27.