BOOM! Studios 2021
Created & Written by Latoya Morgan
Illustrated by Walt Barna
Coloured by A.H.G.
Lettered by Andworld Design
What if you were given the power to change the course of history? Alabama, 1955. Avery Aldridge is an ordinary young Black man. A decorated World War II veteran, Avery provides for his wife and daughter. But wounds of the past have a way of coming back, and Avery Aldridge will soon discover he is anything but ordinary…
After a run-in awakens strange new abilities, Avery's about to become more powerful than he could have ever dared to dream... in a country and society that never wanted him to have any power.
Wow what a great first issue introduction to a series this is. I am really rather impressed with the story that we see and how it is set after WWII in a time when racial inequality was still a very real and dangerous thing. What Latoya does with the opening is a powerful thing and it is meant to make the reader uncomfortable and it succeeds in doing that and then some. From the language used to the overall tone of the moment what we see is a reminder not only of the recent past but in many ways what we are currently experiencing now.
I love 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 exceptionally well rendered. The character development that we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how they act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter are magnificent in how they bring these characters to life. The pacing that we see is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists & turns along with the story, this world and these characters we’re fascinated by what we see.
I really appreciate the way that we see this being structured and how the layers within the story begin to emerge and grow. The avenues we see opening up and how they contain the characterisation, the past events and the opening all do wonders in adding extra depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How everything works together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is achieved exceedingly well.
I am super impressed with the level & quality of the interior artwork we see here. The linework is exquisite and how the varying weights and techniques are being utilised to create the attention to detail is astonishingly well rendered. Backgrounds are utilised judiciously and I wish we’d see more of them because the way they enhance the moments as well as how they work within the composition of the panels bringing out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the book is rather bloody brilliant. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkably talented eye for storytelling. The colour is brilliantly rendered as well. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is so well rendered. The dark palate for the night time and how we see still the colours is brilliant work.
I’m incredibly impressed with how we see the then and now storytelling, it could go horribly wrong if not done properly and we see it done with such apparent ease, which in and of itself is impressive. But it’s so very important to how we see the story here and it really just screams out at the reader in a way akin to a mystery, you’ve got the clues can you guess the answer? Of course you won’t be able to guess. This is going to be the surprise must have hit of the second half of the year and it will be the next bit thing.
With such strong powerful writing and dynamic characterisation wrapped up in these mindbogglingly brilliant interiors you’ll find yourself entranced and unable to turn away.