Writer: Kevin Rubio
Artist: Lucas Marangon
Publisher: Red 5 Comics
Editor's Note: Abyss will arrive in stores this October and is now available for pre-order.
It seems like a while back now but long before he penned Civil War, Mark Millar worked on a brilliant comic book series called Wanted. That six issue limited series was about a regular hypochondriac named Wesley Gibson leading a screwed up life until he is given a chance to give the middle finger to his boss and his cheating girlfriend when he discovers his father was the Killer, the worldís deadliest assassin.
Similarly, in the new series by Red 5 Comics, Kevin Rubioís script also features the son of a super powered master criminal, but unlike Wesley Gibson in Millarís tale, Eric Hoffman wants nothing to do with his dadís legacy. The underlying theme found in this comic is the strained relationship between a father and his 16-year old son, and it serves as an interesting character study in what would otherwise be another spoof on the conventions of super hero themed comic books.
Parody in itself cannot completely replace a good story or well written characterization and thankfully, that doesnít seem to occur here.
In fact, aided by some fine artwork by Lucas Marangon and colorist Andrew Dalhouse, Rubio doesnít waste time in lampooning previous Batman story arcs as young Eric Hoffman reads a comic starring a brooding dark anti-hero while on a flight to meet with his father, whom he believes is a multi-billionaire weapons contractor. Itís quite obvious who Rubio is parodying right from the start and even the bookís cover itself is a visual homage to Superman #75. However, itís all anchored on the anger and resentment young Eric Hoffman feels towards his absent father.
Soon, Eric stumbles into his dadís hidden lair which is straight out of a James Bond movie, equipped with a Russian nuclear missile, shark tanks, green rocks resembling Kryptonite, a cure for gamma radiation, giant robot security guards and other humorous items. Then Eric gets wind of his dadís most recent plot against his archenemy, and he sets out on a mission to stop it.
This comic has a lot going for it: a great cover, great interior artwork, an intelligent premise and a good deal of humorous dialogue. If crafted with great care throughout the next three issues, Rubio can hit one out of the park with this story. I like the fact that a lot of attention to detail is paid to the tongue-in-cheek tone of the story, and I also appreciated the myriad references to previous comics which serve to enhance the readerís enjoyment of the issue. The narrative comes full circle with Eric taking the guise of the hero, and this is a great way to segue into the next issue.
Iíll reserve final judgment for the conclusion of the series, though I donít think it is quite up to par with Millarís Wanted. Itís off to a good beginning, and if the creators can keep up the momentum in the narrative, it could be as memorable as something like Mark Waidís Empire, another recent limited series with a super villain as its protagonist.
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