Review: Startup #1.3

The number one thing that Startup has going for it is the fact that writer/creator Darin Henry has managed to create a superhero world that feels real, but without overloading the hell out of it. Having read numerous other independent superhero comics there’s a slew of usual pitfalls they suffer from, but the biggest in my opinion is making a world with just superheroes. Heroes exist to help other people (and a ton of other reasons, but that’s not the point I’m here to make) and when an independent superhero world doesn’t do that, it makes their hero feel one-dimensional. Startup on the other hand is fleshed out character. She’s never one-dimensional and in some ways suffers from “Peter Parker Syndrome.” What really makes her different, aside from her weight, is her son’s help. He’s encouraged her to be a superhero and it’s gotten him in trouble in this issue as Big Shot has figured out Startup’s secret identity and kidnapped her son Malcolm.

Startup-1-3I’m not really going to tell you anything about the story because it’s the conclusion of the arc and anything said would either be vague or spoilery so let’s just move on.

Henry writes a solid showdown with Startup, Chain and later Big Shot. She doesn’t need her supporting cast to tell her how to use science to figure out her speed *cough*Flash on CW*cough*, but she just figures out what to do because she needs to save her son. The gags are good, the character moments feel real and more importantly the relationships come across genuine.

The art has been very consistent on Startup and that’s no different here. I really like the art. It has a great all-ages look to it, but its modern and catches the eye. The action was easy to follow and my only gripe with it was that it could have used maybe one or two more panels to really leave the reader with an impact. Not bad by any means, but it could have been just a bit more.

The coloring is very strong on this series. For me it comes down to lighting effects and not just shadowing. Somewhere down the line publishers fell in love with shadowing because it was cheaper to color and we’ve all had to suffer from ridiculous shadows draping over the industry. Startup doesn’t rely on shadows, not even at night. Colorist Glenn Whitmore uses natural shading to give off the effect of lighting and always has a believe source point for this unlike what’s usually seen with shadowing.

I dig this series. That’s saying a lot since I’m trying to cut out how many independent superhero books I’m reading, but this one is a keeper. It’s good for new and old comic readers as it tows the line of classic and modern.

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Startup #1.3
Writer: Darin Henry
Artist: Craig Rousseau
Colorist: Glenn Whitmore
Publisher: Sitcomics
Price: $1.99
Format: Ongoing; Digital


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