Review - Quincredible #1 (@lionforge)

"This isn't about what you get. It's about what you give."

There's always been a yearning in some to do better. Being able to positively improve the world around you takes a great deal of effort and patience. For Quinton in Quincredible #1 from Lion Forge Comics, being invincible certainly doesn't hurt in that mission. The issue is written by Rodney Barnes, illustrated by Selina Espiritu, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick and lettered by Aw's Tom Napolitano.

Quinton, a high school sophomore, is looking to live his best life by moonlighting as a superhero. The catch? His power is invulnerability...and that's the only power he has.

Barnes sets the issue in modern-day New Orleans--one that is still grappling with the fallout from Hurricane Katrina and a new, fictional meteor shower that bestowed abilities to some of its citizens. One of those citizens is teenager Quinton, a young man struggling to reconcile his desire to good despite his seeming lack of ability with his physical invulnerability. Barnes uses Quinton extremely effectively as a viewpoint of the world, in that Quinton wants to do things to make a difference, but has to contend with bullies (both local kids and the government) constantly looking to push him down. It's a rather grim reflection of current society that--unfortunately--isn't too far off, but Barnes imbues Quinton with a steady optimism that shows there are ways he can make a difference. From a narrative standpoint, it's still a little unclear as to where Barnes is taking the story, although the dialogue does provide plenty of food for thought.

Espiritu's illustrations lighten the mood of the book considerably. Espiritu frames many of the panels in a way that effectively conveys emotion to the reader while relying on a style that's very comic book inspired. The superheroes in the world have a superhero vibe to them without being too capes and tights and Espiritu illustrates Quinton with a prototypical teenage aloofness. Espiritu also does a great job of showcasing the dichotomy that is New Orleans, from Quinton's parish which reflects the impact of Katrina to the downtown area that feels a bit more cleaned up. Fitzpatrick does a great job with colors, infusing the issue with life through the vibrant colors chosen.

Quincredible #1 is a superhero origin story, but it's not your typical one. Quinton is a young man who wants to do more and can do more, but he's having trouble figuring out how to use his powers for good. Barnes pens a solid script that's paced well and embraces the hard truths of many social issues as a means of drawing attention to them. Espiritu's illustrations are clean and concise, showing off a young man scared of his own ability to make an impact. Quincredible #1 is a very poignant coming of age comic that seeks to portray the constant societal pressures placed on African-American youths (especially men) juxtaposed with a superhuman ability to overcome those pressures.

Quincredible #1 is available November 28.