Aftershock Comics 2017
Created & Written by Jai Nitz
Created & Illustrated by Wesley St. Claire
Coloured by Maria Santaolalla
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man and wielder of the Atomic Katana, has attacked Washington DC and conquered the United States. Now it’s up to Fu Jitsu to stop Wadlow. But it’s tough trying to save the world while fighting with your ex-girlfriend that you’re still very much in love with. Oh, and Fu’s martial arts powers go haywire, so he’s got that going for him. Which is nice.
Have you ever just looked at something and said oh I’m not going to like this, it’s not for me, blah blah blah, etc? I did that when I saw the first issue as the cover didn’t inspire confidence in me and the title seemed kind of kiddie. However I am so happy that I was proven wrong and you know sometimes you have to read the ones that look like they aren’t going to be for you because those are the ones that surprise you the most. Jai brings a very clever and interesting idea to life and it feels like a real world version of the Last Airbender which is something that will have a lot of appeal to a lot of people.
Well it would seem that Wadlow, I think referring to him by only his last name is appropriate, is exactly what he wants at the moment. There are a number of things about this to like and dislike but remember above all “be careful what you wish because you just might get it.” The way I see it the problem that Wadlow has is he’s focused on Fu Jitsu to the point of total distraction which means he can’t concentrate on much else so he leaves himself open to be well taken down. Still Wadlow has managed to take over the work, poor Brain stuck with Pinky just watching, and made his most hated foe the Enemy of the Planet and yet somehow Fu remains ever elusively out of his grasp.
Wesley St. Claire, I like saying his name in my faux British pompous voice, does a nice job on the interiors here. I like how he shows action, Fu jumping onto a roof, I like how he has styled the characters here with their clothing trying to blend in. It has just the right blend of Sunday Newspaper Strip funnies with traditional comic book artwork to keep interesting, fresh and unique. The use of page layouts through their angles and perspective are well done and show off a nice eye for storytelling. We all know by now what I’m going to say next, there should be more backgrounds in use here, they do so much to expand the story, put things in context and just add dimensions that complete things.
There’s something about this that I absolutely adore and that’s the introduction of Fu’s rogues gallery via Wadlow. Not content with any of the world’s spy agencies he’s going to use Fu’s foes to flush him out and take him out. This is where I think backgrounds would’ve helped instead of the blank stuff, though the crazy uniforms do show a nice imagination. Jai’s use of Fu’s greatest enemies here is something that expands Fu in ways that other things couldn’t. It establishes him beyond what we’ve seen so far and makes his world seem larger than we had imagined. It’s an incredibly effective way of using storytelling to do more than just be words.
The story structure, along with the plot & story development and pacing that is intricately connected to the characterisation is done extremely well by Jai. I am thoroughly impressed with the story so far and I look forward where it goes next. Despite the fact that I think Wesley needs a little more seasoning and needs to learn more time management skills, the end of the issue’s art seemed to be rushed and deteriorate a bit.
Fun and carefree it’s the kind of story that doesn’t make sense and yet is completely easy to follow.