Prairie City Response is set in a futuristic world in which aliens and powered people are somewhat the norm. The story begins as a three person response team is being put together. The first two characters we meet are sitting shooting the shit together. One of them, Zeno, has telekinesis, while the other one is an alien from the race of people known as Grepthi. His name is Cannonball and he’s pretty unusual. It looks like he’s wearing an all-black suit from head to toe, but that’s really just his skin. On his face is almost a bone mask which seems to be his one identifying trait. The two men are greeted by someone Zeno knows and they’re informed that the third member of their team is already selected. Zeno asks how they scored and is told that she’s still testing. We cut to our third member a woman named Dryad. She’s currently tackling a training course solo that we learn was meant for an entire rookie squad. Needless to say… she makes the cut.
The bulk of the story is spent establishing the world, the characters and in general figuring out why there’s a need for the response team. The world is pretty interesting especially the Grephthi. They come across as warrior people, but they’re basically treated like shit by everyone because they’re “off-worlders.” Zeno and Dryad don’t have a problem with him and in fact Zeno takes issue with anyone that has a problem with Cannonball because of his species.
The story is designed to be a team book, but more so a newly started team. We’ve seen what they can do on their own in this issue, but the second issue will have to take on the task of showing us if they can work together and bond as a team.
If I’m not mistaken we’re shown each of the characters’ lives before they joined the team, but if not then I’m not really sure I understood the point of these scenes; especially the ending. There were some pacing problems in this issue; mainly the fact that the story bounces around a lot and we follow characters at times when they’re story seems to do nothing for their plot or development. The dialogue is awkward at times and doesn’t come off genuine, but there are still some good scenes and sometimes great banter between characters.
The art was interesting. At times I really liked it and it reminded me of Christian Ward’s style, but then other times it looked like a completely different artist was on the book. It was very inconsistent in this regard as proportions would look off or an entire page/scene would be rushed looking. When the art was good it was impactful and brought the world to life; at times it would really look like a not so distant future.
While this isn’t your typical cape book, I don’t know if it did enough to truly stand out in the already crowded genre. My personal tastes found me only caring about Cannonball and his story, but at the end of the day it felt a bit like Wolverine in that regard too.
Overall though the issue is does a fine job of building the world, introducing the characters and hinting at the conflict. The next issue is what will make or break the series. That’s when we’ll truly get to know the characters and hopefully the world. Until then, this is just a decent independent superhero book.
Writer: Marshall Edwards Artist: Erick Adrian Marquez Publisher: IXT Studio & Outland Entertainment Price: $2.99