I just picked this book up on impulse last week, as I was browsing through the cheap comics on Comixology. This was only .99 cents and it was a superhero title, so I figured what the heck? I’ll check it out. Drawn by Scott Story, who co-wrote it with Benita Story (for Story Studios), this book opens in a graveyard where several superheroes are attending the funeral (standing in the pouring rain with no umbrellas) for Johnny Saturn. The Utopian, who appears to be a Superman-analog (don’t tell Mark Millar) flies down to deliver the eulogy, which is really just a narration of how he first met Johnny Saturn.
Taking place in Spire City, Johnny Saturn was your basic Batman-analog crime fighter. Unlike Utopian who is part of a super-team called the Squadron Premier, Saturn had no super-powers. He was just a regular mad albeit with extraordinary martial-arts skills who fought street-level crime like muggings and such, while Utopian and his teammates fought the bigger menaces like alien invasion. One night while on patrol Utopian spied upon Saturn in an ally fighting a bunch of bad-guys hand to hand. After watching for a while, Utopian decides that Saturn is going to far in his violent methods and proceeds to step in, only to get his ass handed to him by Saturn. The fight ends when there’s a terrible bombing that Utopian has to fly off to. But later he finds out Saturn’s secret identity and then gathers several of his teammates to abush Saturn at Saturn’s apartment. But what they see when they get their surprises them all (NO SPOILERS), leaving us with a cliffhanger.
A decent first issue. The fact that it opens with the funeral of the main character is an interesting choice. Will the series be all flashbacks or will it be revealed that Saturn is still alive at some point (this issue was published in May 2013 and is currently up to #9 released a couple of weeks ago)? There’s also still plenty to be revealed about Utopian and his teammates. I liked the way they wrote the hand-to-hand fight between Saturn and Utopian, it actually seemed believable that Saturn could take down a superhuman. There’s also a couple of subplots, one involving a villain called Dr. Synn, who instigated the bombing, and another mad scientist whose been turning people into cyborgs, that are left open.
The writing is definitely the strongest suit here, the artwork is decent but average. Still, for .99 cents, it’s quite a bargain. Chacebook rating: THREE STARS