My New Year’s Resolution is to post on this blog more often and review more indie comics. And I mean genuinely indie, as in not having a traditional publisher, but the kind that tends to be available via print-on-demand services like Indy Planet.
He’s the first issue of a long-running independent comic-book series from creator Dan Sehn, under his own Argo Comics imprint. This contains two stories, both written by Sehn himself, a 20-page story called Party of Five, illustrated by Arley Tucker which details the formation of this new team of superheroes, or I should say megaheroes, as they’re called here. A billionaire named Denny Dennis has decided to self-finance this team, who will be free from government regulations and red tape, unlike the other megahero teams that exist in this world. He’s had a high-tech space station built to act as the team’s headquarters and hired Gladiatra as the team leader. Gladiatra is basically “Superman’s daughter”, we learn that her father was a megahero named Megamax, who once saved Denny’s life, which is one of the reasons he’s forming this team, and now she’s following in her father’s footsteps. With some apparent reluctance she agrees to Denny’s proposal, and the rest of the story introduces the remaining members of this team.
There is Shazarath, he’s sort of a Hercules/Thor-type of figure. He is a member of a mythical race of forgotten Gods that is bored with the peace in his heavenly realm and decides to leap down to Earth to get directly involved in saving humanity. Chain Reaction is a martial arts master and wannabe ladies’ man. Blue Dynamo can fly and shoot blue bolts of solar energy from his hands but who has no luck with the ladies, as his introduction happens while his super-powered girlfriend is dumping him, right as they’re fighting a gang of werewolf bikers together. And then there’s Kasira, she’s a half-human/half-genie, who doesn’t quite fit in with her genie family since she doesn’t have full magic powers, she can just teleport and affect matter, so she decides to use her abilities as a superhero. The story ends with the team meeting on the space station and preparing for their first training session together.
Next is a four-page story, illustrated by Alex Garcia, called Who Are Argo 5? where Blue Dynamo meets a female megahero for a blind date. She asks him about his career and he tells her about the team that he’s on, giving us a little more background about each member. This story apparently takes place a significant amount of time after the first story, as he speaks as if they’re a well-established team by this point, and also includes the detail that Gladiatra and Shazrath are now in a relationship. Unfortunately for Blue Dynamo, this date doesn’t go as he had planned.
The book also includes 11 pin-ups of the various team members by different artists, including a Gladiatra image by Rob Liefeld, one by Mike McKone, and a Blue Dynamo image by Jamal Yaseem Igle. Impressive.
The book is a good introduction to an exciting new world of superheroes. Chacebook rating: FOUR STARS