Superhero comics are approximately $42 a dozen which is usually why publishers and independent creators gravitate towards other genres. Even though the market is highly saturated with superhero or “cape” books, creators will still throw their hat into the ring and fight for shelf space. If you’re going to make an indie superhero title, then you it’s all about presentation. The art needs to be killer, the story needs to be familiar and yet bring something new to the table. I will live to see the superhero genre reach its century mark and if you think about how many monthly titles that equates to, it’s a difficult task to bring something new to the genre. If you’re going to do it though, you should use Eponymous as the roadmap.
The story begins with a man who we can only assume is a doctor, talking to a little girl. The girl is wearing a hospital gown, but the room they’re in resembles an interrogation room more than a medical facility. The man begins asking her about her “visions”, telling her that while they were documented, they were also dismissed until recently. He shows her a file that contains photos of tragedies that occurred around the globe, that all match the visions she had and described prior to the occurrence. He asks her to continue to describe what she’s seen, but she tells him she can’t remember.
We cut to the other side of the observation glass and find a small group watching. One of the observers gives up on the little girl saying they’re not going to get anything out of her under these circumstances. A women sitting in the back begins talking about executing emergency protocols. Through their conversation we learn that the end of the world may be looming and that the little girl might end up becoming the first causality in order to prevent it from coming true.
That night we find the girl on the roof of a building. She stands for a moment before jumping off the side; she falls until a woman jumping through the air catches her and kicks in a nearby window. They land and the woman checks on the little girl who warns her about the helicopters she “saw” hunting her. I’ll leave it to you to figure out what shows up next… *cough-helicopters-cough* There’s plenty more of the story to read so don’t worry about me telling you all of it and I’ve actually saved the best for last.
You can’t make realistic superheroes. The sheer physics of it makes it completely unbelievable. The thing is Eponymous doesn’t exactly try to make realistic superheroes, but it does create a realistic world. That’s actually what I found to set this apart from other superhero worlds, is that I believed everything else happening in the story. It didn’t hurt that the hero, a strong military trained woman, was somewhat believable as well. The writing is very good and though a majority of the issue is dialog, it works. There’s a lot of information presented through the dialog and it’s very believable rather than being convenient for the story.
The art is fucking amazing. It’s photorealistic, but the coloring has a stylized flair to it that gives it a warm feel. It kind of resembles water colors, but far more detailed. It’s a gorgeous looking book and the visuals support the narrative in ways that the dialog can’t. The conversation at the beginning has a scene where the doctor tells the little girl they’re alone and it’s presented on the other side of the observation glass. Panels like that are very clever and add a lot to the story. There was one use of an onomatopoeia that I absolutely loved. As the hero rescues the girl and they jump through a window, there is a huge “Smash” behind them. The reason it’s so good is that it’s on the outside of the building so part of the word is cut off. I can’t express just how amazing the art is.
The thing about this book is that you won’t really know it’s a superhero title until about the second or third page when they say it. The cover and art are nothing you’ve seen in a superhero title before and the pacing and structure of the story draws a similar response. I was very impressed with this issue and look forward to seeing the world develop and most of all the gorgeous artwork. If you like superheroes this is an easy sell as it reminds me of Marvel’s Ultimate line, back in its early days.
This first issue is a collection of the story running in VS Comics, so if you want to continue in smaller anthology sized chunks you can pick that up digitally as well.
Writer: Michael Garley
Artist: Martin Simmonds
Letterer: Michael Stock
Self-Published, but appears monthly in VS Comics monthly anthology.
Price: £5.00 or about $7.75 US