DC Comic/Milestone 2021
Written by Vita Ayala
Layouts by Chriscross
Finishes & Colours by Nikolas Draper-Ivey
Lettered by Andworld Design
Virgil Hawkins learns that a secret identity is a tricky thing when his high school bully gets upgraded to his super-powered archnemesis! But if he thinks the fires of Hotstreak burn hot, then he definitely isn’t ready for the white-hot anger of his parents, when they learn what he’s brought to their front door…
I have no idea if this is how the original series went or if this is just a new take on that, I don’t know it isn’t anything like the cartoon was so for me this is a brand new series and I’m approaching it as such. I do like that we keep the whole Bang Baby aspect of the origin to how they all got their powers as I feel that’s essential to the premise here. I actually like the way that this is being told. While there are times it seems a bit predictable, i’m looking at his parents here, I will say that overall this is a breath of fresh air when it comes to the enjoyment of a series that delves into its characters in such a non-traditional method.
I am very much enjoying the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceedingly well. The character development that we see through the narration, the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how they act and react to the situations and circumstance which they encounter fleshes them out extremely well. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of the story it’s interesting to see how Virgil is as much like his father though he’d never admit it.
I really do appreciate how this is being structured and how we see the layers within the story continue ot emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. The layers contain the introduction of new characters, new powers emerging and some great characterisation and whether they work with the main arc or swirl around it they add such depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is extremely well achieved.
The interiors here are interesting. For me its part elevated animation and part traditional comic style artwork. I wish the work were a bit more detailed but that’s my preference when it comes to what I like seeing. I’d also like to see more backgrounds being utilised as well. Still the linework is nicely rendered and how we see the composition within the panels bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is well achieved. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a very talented eye for storytelling. The colour work is extremely well rendered. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows a strong eye for how colour works. The yellows, oranges and reds in particular places really pop like you wouldn’t believe.
One of the hardest things to do is take a character who started in one place and has has incarnations in many, from cartoon, to Teen Titan and back to where he originated and all the while finding a way to keep him fresh, new and interesting. I think this is off gto a pretty good start and it has definitely piqued my curiosity to see where it may be heading to next. It has some complex and interesting writing and characterisation with some promising interiors and I’ll be keeping an eye on this for sure.