Writer: Marcus Almand
Artists: Jeffery Cruz (p), Juan Castro (i), Joshua Ravello (colors)
Publisher: Ronin Studios
"A teen title" – that is how I would classify Razor Kid. Not only that, I would go one step further and put a "real" before teen. Not only does it have a teenager as the main protagonist, Razor Kid also comes across as a title aimed towards the younger (yet not so young) demographic, similar to Archie Comics’ Sabrina, The Teenage Witch. What makes it even more special is that neither of the Big Two comic publishers has such a title in their listings anymore. Oh, DC might have its Johnny DC line and Marvel its Marvel Adventures line, but both of those are geared and suited to a younger (pre-teen) demographic, kids just getting into comics (hopefully under the guidance of their parents/caretakers). As for their mainline titles, there is no way I am going to allow my newly-teen niece and/or nephew to read the current Batman series or for that matter Spider-Man, Superman, Wolverine or any other Big-Two title. Those titles, despite what their writers, artists, publishers, etc. might claim are no longer written for a teen audience but for adults. Even then there are some, like Wildstorm’s Boys, which are focused toward even more adult audiences. Although excellent in their own "section" such titles are nevertheless niche ones. Still, just as the adults have their Boys, why shouldn’t the teens have their Kid, or in this case, Razor Kid.
Onto the main story and as far as series openers go, Marcus Almand’s Razor Kid #1 makes for an acceptable one. Focused just on the Kid himself, fifteen year old Alex Tanaka, it scores very well. However, while we get to meet his supporting cast, the introduction leaves with a few too many questions thus pulling the overall mark down. I know this is just the first issue and we will learn more as the story progresses, but I would at least have liked to know who Nikki is. Is she Alex’s friend, sister (real or cousin), girlfriend? What is she? Going by the art I assumed that one thing she wasn’t was Alex’s sister, at least not his real one, because while Alex shares physical characteristics with his mother (hair & eye color, general facial makeup) he doesn’t with the blonde blue-eyed Nikki.
The other main supporting character introduced here is Kevin Michaels. He is Alex’s fellow worker/student in the C.A.P.E. (Citizen Authorized for Protection and Enforcement) program Alex is a part of. His first meeting with Alex is also the opener for the issue in which the two are fighting against one another (all in part of Alex’s final exam for his C.A.P.E. license). Although Alex gives a good fight, Kevin bests him thanks to his superior fighting skills and a secret "weapon" that he uses as his final takedown move. Afterwards, when Kevin learns who Alex is, he is more than a little, well, nervous. It is revealed that not only does Alex come from a family of geniuses (his mother got her Masters at age twelve), he is a genius inventor himself, with one of his inventions being a pair of prosthetic arms that he built to…, to replace the ones he lost a couple of years back. As for how he lost his arms, that is the dark and gory part of this issue.
There is no denying that there is a certain undercurrent of manga here, not only in the story but also in the art. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that it is an out and out manga-clone. Jeffery Cruz’s pencils have a more than enough Western angle to it. With Juan Castro on the inks and Joshua Ravello on colors, the three of them make for a bright, fresh and lively visual experience. To compare I would say that the artwork of Razor Kid is reminiscent of titles like Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane and Invincible.
Conclusion: Will I be getting a second issue? Not sure, but then I wouldn’t count myself as the target for this title (not being the tired old fart I am). However, for a reader looking to get something less sugary than Sabrina, TTW and less high school-drama than S-M Loves Mary Jane or for that matter more mature than the Johnny DC/Marvel Adventure titles, Razor Kid gets my vote.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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