Image Comics 2015
Written by Mark Millar
Illustrated by Wilfredo Torres, Davide Gianfelice & Francesco Mortarino
Coloured by Ive Svorcina
We always seem to put the past on a pedestal that it was so much more wholesome than today’s society. Though the reality of it is that while laws and society hides much of the stuff that we see so prevalent today it still happened. This issue focuses on the Flare and his meeting of a young woman while cleaning up after the defeat of one of the Unions villains. What happens here is a classic tale of married man meets young adventurous woman and has an affair.
Meanwhile at home he’s leading a double life and it would seem his oldest son is more than an aware of what kind of man his father is. Ah so while they continue to team up and work together and shack up on the side she does what one would expect of her asks him to get her on the team. His teammates aren’t going to put up with his behavior anymore the fact that he got her an apartment and job in the city and they feel he’s taking advantage of a starstruck nineteen year old girl is too much for them. He’s making a fool of himself and his wife and they all know his wife and this kind of stuff isn’t flying.
Though he does have to bring up that Richie’s allowed to have boyfriends but again he isn’t married. They give him the ultimate ultimatum end the relationship or he’s off the team. What happens next shouldn’t come as a surprise but somehow it still is. Though it does go a long way to explaining something about the Flare’s oldest son and his determination to prove his dad’ll get what’s coming to him, leading him down the not so heroic path.
I love what’s happening here. The fact that man doesn’t change much is always a wonderful thing to see but this is laying the groundwork for what we’ve already seen and it’s doing it in this fun fresh way that’s just as exciting as seeing their kids who have grown up and become who they are. Add that to the fact that we’re dealing with a whole different generation and those that we’ve only glimpsed and not really seen in the first one really helps to flesh out this world and define these characters before it all hit the fan.
That each issue seems to focus on a different character makes it more interesting and fully develops this team more. We know how they got their powers but we finally get to see the day to day that make them who they are and how their current actions shape the ones of their kids and protege’s in the future in a more complete manner.
The interior artwork also gives you that sense of simpler times and yet at the same time it really conveys all the emotional issues and drama we face today. Sure the costumes are what we consider retro but the people inside them are normal everyday folks who happen to have these strange and wonderful gifts. Oh that everyone smokes is one of those throwbacks that is pretty spectacular I mean it does take you back to Mad Men, Sinatra and whole of Hollywood that never seemed to be without a cigarette adding to the whole feel of being a bygone age.
This is a delightful read and it just goes to show that when Mark really loves something he creates he can do no wrong with it.