If there’s one thing you can do to lose me as a reader, it would be multiple pages of black. Codename: Rave, which feels more at home in the 90s, has nine pages of black. I would be shocked if anyone thought that this did something positive for the story. I wish I could tell you what exactly this story is about, but I really have no clue. I feel like I’m missing something. We open with a narration while two thugs rob a store and then we meet a female hero. It seems like she’s narrating, but I’m pretty sure it’s the lead male character. We just don’t see him until much later into the comic. In the world, there’s some serious shit going down. Some extinction level shit it seems. Most of the heroes are absorbed in battle and some of them seem like they don’t give a shit. When we meet our main character, he’s in the dark… hence the dark pages. But the thing is, you can illustrate the darkness without making a black page. A black page doesn’t paint a picture for the reader in their heads, it’s just a black page. It works for the Looney Tunes because it’s funny… here it has a different meaning.
The pacing for this story is bad. There’s no other way to put it. We don’t need to meet our main character right away, but we shouldn’t meet the entire world of heroes before them. We shouldn’t follow low level goons across the story until they conveniently show up where our main character is waiting for them. Here comes the biggest “shouldn’t.” We shouldn’t be completely confused as to who is narrating the story, because we spend a lot of time with the female superhero in the beginning and it comes across as her explaining the world to us. Maybe she is, maybe she isn’t. If she is, then the narration color should be different than the male characters. If she isn’t, then we need to meet our main character sooner. It’s just a confusing story otherwise. Even after writing this review, I’m still not sure who the main character is.
Now I do want to point out that I could have read the Patreon page for the comic and figured out what was going on, but I don’t like doing that. When I read the comic, I should be able to figure it out from the comic. Not from supplement reading in another place. That’s like watching a movie and at the end they tell you to go watch a YouTube video with the director explaining what you were supposed to gleam from the film. The material should speak for itself.
The art is okay. It’s not bad, but it’s not consistent. I can’t be sure, but I think there’s two artists or more because in the beginning everyone has a lot of detail on their faces and body, but then later on the line work is cleaner and smoother. There’s also a lot of female characters introduced and they’re all just big boobed and costumed. All of the costumes are pretty goofy and one character clearly likes Evil Ernie’s Smiley button. Also, and I know I’m nitpickying, but the first female character we meet (I don’t know her name) is running really fast… in heels. Her other power must be unbreakable ankles. The coloring is as consistent as the art, which is to say it’s also not consistent.
I wouldn’t read more of Codename: Rave. I know that’s harsh, but it’s an indie superhero title that tries to stand out by poorly incorporating music into its world. A world that is very confusing and only shows its title character in pieces of panels at the very end. There was really nothing special or interesting about this superhero title that you couldn’t get from the big two or even a small press company. If you’re going to do indie superheroes, the only way to win is with your creativity and skill. This fails to reach that mark.
Codename: Rave #1 Creator/Writer: "The Broken Flow" Artists: Various Website