Review: Average Jo #1

Average Jo takes a look at a world populated by superheroes and how that would affect the role of law enforcement. It’s a clever idea as you take a street level look at the world through the POV of a police officer that’s been downgraded to the role of crowd control in the eyes of society at large. I actually had the opportunity to read this issue in its script format, so it was a real treat for me to see it completed. Anyone that digs superhero titles… wait that’s like 98% of comic readers… you’ll like this book! In a great opening sequence we meet Jo, a law enforcement officer. The panel layout would have you think that he’s about to square off with a villain known as the Cricket. Their dialog shoots back and forth until the scene pulls out and we find the Cricket facing off against a superhero that can grow larger, and Jo trying his best to keep the crowd from rushing into danger. These people idolized the capes so much that they’d do anything to get closer. One lady in particular gives Jo hell, but he brushes it off while continuing to do his job. After the battle, corporate police rolls in and picks up the cricket making the officers look even more useless.

15158_375036599276209_208205323_nAfter work Jo heads to a mansion carrying a hand carved box. It’s not his house, but rather his ex-wife’s and her new husband’s house. He’s there for his daughter’s birthday, but the visit goes… well it goes like most of Jo’s life, crappy. His daughter doesn’t even remotely care about the family heirloom that he’s given her, especially after her step-dad gives her a sports car. His ex-wife is one of the most unreasonable people in the world. She basically chews him out for being poor when all he wants is his daughter’s love. Jo’s not done yet as he hits the bar with his partner and who can blame him, this guy needs a drink.

Jo’s life makes Peter Parker’s life look good, at least old Peter Parker’s life that was constantly shit on and couldn’t catch a break. The one thing that was going right for Jo begins to turn bad as we’re left with a cliffhanger; a damn good cliffhanger I might add.

The pacing of the writing is very good. You’re essentially just going through a day in this guy’s life. There’s nothing special about the superhero fight; even if it wasn’t his daughter’s birthday you could bet that it would go down the same. There’s nothing glamorous or interesting about Jo’s life and yet you really feel for him as a character. The dialog is pretty good for the most part; the ex-wife was like the ex-wife from Taken cranked to eleven and the bar scene dialog was kind of just there. I really enjoyed the opening, the fake out with Jo and the Cricket was great and set the pacing for the ending which felt connected to the opening. There’s a very complete journey for the reader and Jo.

The art is really good. It’s the right fit for a superhero title, which is what this series is even if the main character isn’t. The line work is very thick especially the opening, but it works. The panel layout is kept simple, but there is something about that simplicity that plays to the story. Jo’s simple, so why shouldn’t everything around him also be simple. The action sequences were easy to follow, but the bar scene could have been a little tighter. A guy gets hit by a chair and just walks it off and really I think they would have been picking him up off the floor.

I dug this book and again I was glad to see the completed product. It was interesting to see how the art turned out to what I pictured and it was really good. I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of the series in what’s a unique take on the genre.

Score: 4/5

Created: John Pross

Writers: Derek Adnams and John Pross

Artist: Julius Abrera

Colorist: Bryan Magnaye

Letterer: Brandon Bullock

Cover: Harvey Tolibao and Ivan Nunes

**If you're at Heroes Con this weekend stop by booth 1921 and pick up a copy and the other Pross Comics titles!**