Shadowline/Image Comics 2016
Created, Written, Illustrated, Coloured & Lettered by
This isn’t going to be for everyone so if you like to hop up on your soapbox, find reasons to be offended (way too many of you out there) or just don’t have an open mind skip this. This is for those who want compelling, thought provoking, stark and honest storytelling regardless how difficult at times it is to read. I’m a pretty open minded person at least i’d like to think so and there were times I got uncomfortable with what was happening but in all honesty that’s part of what I found so gosh darn good about this issue.
Derrick who likes to go by D-Trick is a black youth who is a tagger, a street artist whose mother is in jail leaving him and his sister in the custody of his Aunt and Uncle. He runs with a rough crowd and looks the part of what we’ve stereotyped as a gang-banger. The saggy jeans showing off his boxers, the hoodie with the hat and the attitude to go with it, an angry young man. However he’s not a bad kid as the characterization this issue shows us. I’m really rather impressed with Jimmie’s writing here with this.
I like his Aunt and Uncle who want the best for him and have a little trouble relating to him and with the family stuff that goes on here it’s easy to see that he’s basically a lost soul. He’s looking for where he fits in the world. His little sister, Tanzia, is ten and half years old and likes to think she’s smarter and wiser than her years and with what they’ve been through out of the mouths of the young certainly applies.
The events of this issue demonstrate how a young man like him can be seen in an area of town that well isn’t his usual stomping grounds. However when an accident is going to occur and his powers kick in he acts like any hero would and instead of being heralded for his actions he’s treated like a criminal. The social injustice is prevalent and it’s a shame but unfortunately that’s how things happen to go in this modern world of ours. What I do like is that the woman he went to see and try to make things right with as well discuss their connection while also reticent about things is an ally of sorts.
Jimmie gives us the whole perspective, from all sides so that there isn’t just one seen or focused on here. I have to say that the way the media is portrayed here is also pretty accurate in creating sensationalist stories that prey on race as it’s focus.
Jimmie’s artistic talent should be noticed as well. With everything being done by him should be applauded since you see everything as it’s intended. The way the story flows and the impact on what he wants us to see is meticulous.
Very much a modern story where how we see and interact with each other is spotlighted in such a way that it sends a very powerful message. People could learn so much from this if they go into it with an open mind and leave wanting to help change the future. Plus throw in superpowers and well heck that’s just icing on the cake.