The supergroup known as The Front Line have just invited new hero Crosswind to join them. But what they don’t know is that Crosswind is a mole, sent to learn all their secrets. And the Front Line have LOTS of secrets.

Written by Jay Faerber and Brian Joines, who co-created the book along with artist Ilias Kyriazis, the books opens in the middle of downtown Toronto, where the international superhero team The Front Line are fighting a hoard of demons, raised my a magical supervillain named Perdition. Crosswind, a man with a high-tech suit of armor, ala Iron Man, watches and wait until the last minute, when it looks like the team is being defeated, and then rushes into battle to save the day. We learn that this is the third time that Crosswind has helped out the team and the soon elect to offer him permanent membership, which he accepts. Then later we get a cutaway scene of Crosswind alone on the phone with someone, talking about how he the “plan” worked, and now he’s in and ready to learn and expose all of the Front Line’s secrets.

The rest of the issue is mostly various introductory scenes of the various members of The Front Line, as they return to their civilians lives after the battle in Toronto. And many of them do indeed have secrets that they wouldn’t want exposed. Luminary is a Black woman who also happens to be the daughter of the President of The United States of America (whom we see, and is not Obama). Rundown is a super-speedster who is also a bigamist. He’s got a wife and daughter in Halifax and a wife and daughter in San Diego, and uses his super-speed to race and back forth between them. Recluse appears to be some kind a vampire. He keeps a secret private jail underneath his home, where he keeps criminals who have gotten away with their crimes and uses them to drain their blood to keep him “alive.” Gaijin meets with her brother, who appears to be some kind of criminal. Punchline is an aspiring stand-up comedian, although he’d not doing so well, and it’s suggested that this because he spends too much time as a superhero and not enough time following his “dream.” Vesuvius is some kind…living volcano. That’s the only way I can think of to describe him. His origin is a secret, and he appears to be eager to keep it that way. And then there’s Helot, another man of mystery. We see him visiting with a former member of the team who is no handicapped.

Then we see Crosswind being taken to the team’s headquarters (and I’m not going to spoil that, but you really need to see it) and then we finally learn who is behind this infiltration plan. We still don’t know the reason, but it’s made clear that Crosswind has some kind of personal vendetta against this time. So this is primarily a set-up issue, but it is very well-written, all the characters, even the ones we still know little about, are written as three-dimensional personalities, and the mystery of Crosswind’s (and his collaborator) motivation is set up just right. Faerber and Joines do a stellar job scripting, and Kyriazis’ artwork is very nice, he is accomplished drawing both quite character moments and big action scenes. I think Image Comics has a new hit on their hands.



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