Review: Startup #1.2

Startup is for anyone that reads superhero comics and instantly says, “the tone is too dark and the story too mature.” Because the bulk of comics from the big three are exactly like that. It’s a known fact and while that has chased readers off over the years for the large part no one cares. No one cares until they have a kid of their own and realize that maybe letting them read X-Men or Batman isn’t such a good idea. But how can you let them read the watered-down rehash kids versions that both publishers like to release? You can’t. Because no one becomes a fan of comics by reading something that talks down to them. All of this is to illustrate the point that if you want a super hero comic that will appeal to you and your kids, then it’s Startup. Now, I will tell you that I don’t like reading superhero comics. I’m just not interested in the genre, but due to the amount of independent superhero comic books we get sent to the site it ends up being a genre that I read a lot. Frankly it’s too the point that I don’t that I pass on a lot of them because they offer nothing new. They’re just portfolio pieces to get work at a publisher and I’m frankly not interested in seeing it any more than an editor at publisher.

So what makes Startup different?

Startup 1.2The world is already created and populated by heroes and characters. Maybe some of them are homages or share similar powers, but we don’t know that. We’re instead following one character as she’s thrust into the hero spotlight.

As we saw in #1.1 of Startup, Renee went from an overweight single mom, to a thin knockout with super speed. She reveals this to her son and we learn that even while Renee is skinny she still weighs the same and more importantly when she’s not concentrating she reverts back to her former overweight self. While the story doesn’t explicitly say, “hey this stuff is important” if you’ve read enough comics then you should be able to pick up on the fact that these details will be important to the story at some point. After that we see Renee debut as her new thin self and step into the role of a hero.

While there’s more to the story only one aspect of it is important to my review as a villain figures out her identity on her first day. Frankly this a breath of fresh air because it tells us as readers that the world and characters are not stupid. We don’t look right at Superman and see Clark Kent later and go, “nah, different guy.” Our villain is smart and while not all villains are, as we see in this issue, at least it’s believable that there’s some intelligence happening there.

What I really like about this story and the writing is that Renee alludes to the fact that she knows she should have hidden her weight loss to protect her identity, but she couldn’t resist. That’s very human of her. Probably more human than Spider-Man because we’re all a little vain and if you woke up looking like a bombshell how could you hide it? Obviously Renee is going to be faced with a hard decision if she can make it out of her current predicament intact.

The art fits the story and is quite good. It has a classic comic book style, but with a modern flair. Hopefully that makes sense because that’s really what I see when I look at it. It’s not photorealistic, but it’s detailed. It’s bright and colorful in a way that non-comic book readers would probably expect, but still pleasant to people who do read comics. That art gets the story and compliments it.

I have lost track of how many independent superhero comics I’ve read since the start of the year. It’s been that many. Startup stands out in the crowd and gives me hope that there can be other independent superhero comics to read.


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Startup #1.2 Writer: Darin Henry Artist: Craig Rousseau Colorist: Glenn Whitmore Publisher: SitComics Price: $1.99 Release Date: 4/20/16 Format: Ongoing; Digital


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