Image Comics 2015
Written by Mark Millar
Illustrated by Wilfredo Torres
Coloured by Ive Svorcina
Well we’ve met the kids not it’s time to focus on their parents and the beginnings of their adventures. To be honest I kind of missed Frank Quitely's artwork here, Wilfredo does nice work but it’s a bit on the simple side for me. Granted it does nicely fit the time period we’re talking about. Using Union Terminal for their headquarters was bit cheesey though I mean it’s home of the Super Friends as well so I guess that kind of iconic imagery is what evokes emotion so well.
Starting off in the future and where the headquarters is a Museum showcasing their costumes, trophies and whatnot then moving back to 1959 to start this off is well done. There really is something special about seeing costumes from a time when spandex wasn’t invented yet. Blue Bolt is the star of this issue and possibly the story considering his personal life and all that seems to be the catalyst. To me it seems Blue Bolt is very akin to Starman so I guess homage is the sincerest form of flattery what with that power rod and all.
Oh the days everyone smoked as well it really does harken back to this old Hollywood style world and while we don’t see bodies that are very defined we do see that classic leading man look here. It’s also an era of J. Edgar Hoover and his above the law, obtaining dirt and blackmailing anyone he could use and a time when homosexuality was punishable with disgrace and jail time depending on what, where and whom you doing things with. Why mention that well read the book because Blue Bolt Richard, has a not so well hidden secret.
The team has to assemble to fight a giant Octopus from space able to take over human minds. To me this really is too much like Starro and it almost seems lazy to me that there are such blan\tant parallels to the Justice League of America. Though I will admit that the meeting they were in reminds me of Mad Men and the fact that everyone dressed to go to work and out in public makes me long for those days. I also love that except for the speedster everyone wears a cape it’s just a nice reminder.
So I mentioned Hoover earlier and it turns out he’s kind of important to this story. He wants the Union working for him and that means he’ll do whatever it takes. The team has voted against working with/for him so he’s doing what he can to change that. Richard decided he was going to celebrate a bit differently than the rest of them and he headed back to Los Angeles visits a park and there’s a raid from the Vice Squad. I will say I appreciate the honesty in seeing what was going on there. This sets Richard on a path of paranoia and well it also leads him to Katie Hepburn’s party where a waiter is taking pictures. The end result sets up something both disturbing and well expected. We are dealing with Hoover after all and say what you will while he was effective he was not a nice man.
The blatant homages, yes that’s nicely, aside this is story took my surprise it’s kind of heavy and unexpected and completely fascinating. By the end of the story you really are into it and the artwork grows on you creating this overall interest in what’s still to come. The fact that this kind of subject matter is being addressed in this time is an unexpected surprise and a nice look the country’s history.