Monday, April 2, 2018

Review - Demi-God #1 (@IDWPublishing)


"Bout time you showed up. I've been waiting."

Olden times often featured gods ruling the lives of mortals on Earth. Those gods may or may not have had any influence on the inner workings of man, but there were definitely stories about their interactions. In Demi-God #1 from IDW Publishing, Jason is the newest character to have a tie to Greek gods. The issue is written by Ron Marz, illustrated by Andy Smith, colored by Michael Atiyeh and lettered by Steve Dutro.

With great power comes great… wait, how does that go again? Demi-God is a contemporary superhero tale like no other. When irresponsible slacker Jason McAndros suddenly gains the power of a god, the fourth wall isn’t the only thing he breaks! As Jason revels in his newfound might, he begins calling himself Hercules and indulging in his every whim.

Marz is no stranger to writing a tale where a character is imbued with a supernatural power (read Witchblade) which makes him a good fit for Demi-God #1. The issue's script embraces its nature as an origin story by making fun of origin stories with Marz offering the events to the reader with a wink and a nod. In that respect, the origin of Jason McAndros as a superhero is actually quite entertaining and doesn't necessarily suffer from superhero origin fatigue. The script is amusing because of the approach taken by Marz as he fills it with dialogue that's pretty much one fourth-wall gag after another. Marz crashes through the issue in setting things up which prompts something of an abrupt ending though.

Smith's illustrations are very much in the superhero vein, rendering Jason as essentially an Adonis that's befitting of his Herculean inspiration. Smith relies on a lot of heavy, thick lines and shading for emphasizing the characters' physiques that speak to the Greek inspirations. The panels are laid out very formally as well as Smith makes it easy to keep up with the action and follow along with what's happening. There's quite a bit of action in the issue as well that Smith captures effectively through characters who are very fluid in the kinetics behind their punches. Atiyeh's colors are a great fit for the issue as well, largely relying on bold, primary colors throughout.

Demi-God #1 is an origin story for sure, but it does draw upon other origin stories for inspiration. Jason is normally just a guy, but for some reason he's getting powers that will likely cause him more trouble in the end. The script of Marz is fast-paced and fluid, relying on inside jokes about origin stories to carry the tone of the book. Smith's illustrations are a great match for the script as Jason has all the looks of a demigod. Demi-God #1 is a pretty lighthearted and entertaining first issue that sets up a new superhero with a whole host of new superhero problems.

Demi-God #1 is available April 4.

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