An interesting fact about this series is that it’s actually a reboot. Back in August 2013, Lion Forge Comics launched one of their first original superhero titles, ACCEL.
Written by David Gorden and drawn by Lorenzo Lizana, this issue introduced us to Jose Santiago, a Latino teenager living on a farm in Mississippi with his parents and his brother and sister. Danny and Rosa. A couple of weeks earlier they found a meteor that had crashed into a shed on their farm, as the siblings got close to it, it exploded, and Jose soon found out that he had gained the power to run at super speed. He adopts the costumed identity of Accel, and we see him use his power to rescue a hostage and capture a criminal who had a $10k bounty on his head. The hostage was the daughter of a rich businessman named William Foreman, who gives Danny a prepaid credit card with the reward money on it. But that turns out to be a trick, Foreman is a bad guy (as most rich businessmen in comic books are), who sends a bunch of his henchmen armed with high-tech weapons to attack the ranch and capture Jose. Accel fights off the bad guys, and during the fight, Rosa discovers that she’s gained telepathic powers, and there’s a moral to the story about Jose learning that he shouldn’t be using his powers to make money, but only to help people.
It’s a solid first issue, one of the better early Lion Forge titles, in my opinion. But only that one issue was published. I still have it on my Kindle but unfortunately, it’s no longer available for sale anywhere which is a shame, as it’s still a good book that I’d recommend buying. But in June 2017 they relaunched the title, with a slightly altered name, and a new creative team of writer Joe Casey and artist Damion Scott.
Now set in Los Angeles, Accell is a 20-year-old Latino man named Daniel Dos Santos. He found a small piece of meteor that crashed and took it home and kept it under his bed, thinking it might be worth something later. After a week the meteor had disintegrated, and that affected Daniel. Now he can run at the speed of sound. He’s so fast that he can literally run up buildings and bust through solid walls, making him virtually invulnerable as long as he’s in motion. The downside is that when he slows back down, any physical damage he took kicks in, so he’ll need a period of rest to recover. Thankfully, he can also use his powers to speed up his body’s natural healing abilities. So say he breaks his leg, instead of 3-6 months, he can heal within a minute. This volume collects the first 4 issues of this series.
In issue one, we learn that Daniel has a girlfriend named Monica Hayes, who is deeply in love with and calls him her soulmate, although Daniel is not as comfortable with emotional talk. She knows about his superpowers. But Monica’s father, Mr. Hayes, is some kind of rich businessman, who doesn’t like that Monica is seeing Daniel, and tries to forbid her from seeing him, but she won’t stop. So Mr. Hayes hires a supervillain, a big guy with finger guns called Barrage, to seek out and attack Daniel. This leads to a multi-page battle between Accell and Barrage in the streets of downtown Los Angeles that Daniel must use his wits to survive.
Issues two and three are kind of a two-parter. Following his battle with Barrage, Daniel decides that he needs to spend more time practicing and learning more about his powers. So he runs out to the middle of the desert, where he pushes the limits of his speed. He meets a wise old Native American man and battles a Native American folklore monster called a Demon Whirlwind.
And then in issue four, he’s back in Los Angeles. Mr. Hayes is still determined to get rid of Accell, and we meet a new supervillain crime boss who finances villains like Barrage. Daniel discovers that a kid he plays online video games with is getting physically abused by his own older brother. So Daniel runs to Missouri to step in, only to realize even a superhero can necessarily solve a problem like bullying with his fists.
I was already a fan of both Casey and Scott’s work, having read books they’d worked on for DC and Marvel, and I’m happy with the work they do here. Scott’s artwork is perfect for this title, he’s good at drawing action and effects of Accell’s powers. And Casey writes Accell as a relatable and likable hero. He’s not super-intelligent or anything, he’s just a regular guy who wants to do the right thing.
It’s a fun book and a great introduction to this new superhero. A little more personal background about Daniel would be nice though, these issues don’t give much insight into his day-to-day life. He appears to live by himself in an apartment, but all we see him do when he’s at home is play video games. Does he have a job? A family? The lack of those details is the only criticism I have of this series, thus far.
Chacebook rating: FOUR STARS
Categories: LION FORGE COMICS
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