Super! Volume 1 Review | Fanboys Anonymous

Super! Volume 1 Review

Posted by Orion Petitclerc Saturday, November 22, 2014
Every once in a while I'll take a chance on a comic book that catches my attention even if I've heard nothing about it before. I did this with Image Comics' Revival once; I'd never heard anything about that amazing supernatural crime thriller before seeing the cover to issue #1 at my local comic book shop, and I decided, "What the heck? It's only five issues in, so let's give it a shot." I've since been following the series (and you should, too). Another series I did the same with is from an even smaller and largely unknown publisher: Unlikely Heroes Studios, whose sole comic book series, Super!, really impressed me in an unlikely fashion.

Read Super! digitally exclusively on comiXology for iOS and Android mobile devicesJust recently, the publisher released the very first five-issue volume of their digital-only series (available only on comiXology) by creators Zack Dolan, Justin Piatt, Everado Orozco, and a handful of inkers including mainstay Laurie Foster as a printed hardcover trade collection. Fans of superheroes, I urge you to pick this book up. You won't be disappointed.

The series follows a ragtag team of amateur superheroes and their struggle to make a name for themselves in Cosmopolis, a city filled to the brim with superheroes and villains, against the immense popularity of the legacy supergroup, the People's Champions. Each issue explores a different member of the underdog group, which includes the no-shit-taken power woman, Blitz; the quip-tacular and hot-headed Furious Fire Ant; the mysterious and short-tempered Silhouette; the megalomaniacal and genius Professor Max Archer; the ├╝ber-patriotic and gun-toting Blood Death; the Hulk-like, lightweight Unquenchable Lush; the nude speedster Streak; and the size-changing Super Sentai lovechild, Adventure Man Zero.

Buy the limited edition Super! Volume 1 hardcover deluxe edition to receive a hand-drawn art piece from Zack Dolan
Ah, this reminds me of taking on Nemesis in
City of Heroes…everything is a Nemesis plot!
The team, though they all have the best (and sometimes selfish) intentions, always ends up fleeing the scene of a big battle whenever the law comes around or an angry casino owner demands repayment for the damage they cause. Whenever things seem to be finally going their way, though, their thunder is unavoidably undermined by the People's Champions. On top of all of that, they make themselves their own archenemies out of the supervillain cabal, the Fearsome Fivesome—another group of underdogs trying to make a name for themselves and lead by the Black Atom, who secretly has a close connection with Blitz.

What really turned me onto this series from issue #1 was something that took me a few moments to put my finger on. At first glance, the series looks like just another ambitious superhero comedy book that would just drown in the sea of other greater titles like The Amazing Spider-Man or Batman. However, there is a very special kind of love woven into every word and panel that turns Super! into a superhero genre love letter. It also reminds me a lot of the late and great City of Heroes, the superhero MMORPG from Paragon Studios and NCSOFT. Much in the way of the fan-created video game projects City of Titans (formerly The Phoenix Project), Valiance Online, and others, this comic was created in part by a CoH veteran (Dolan, who even once played as Blitz and Fire Ant and was a huge fan of the game's character creator) and possesses many similar themes to the game's canon, including a Paragon City in the form of Cosmopolis and a legacy group like the Freedom Phalanx.

Contribute to the success and production of Super! through Kickstarter and Patreon

I can't say enough how much I enjoy Super!, and I get the feeling that the series and its creators can go very far with enough support. The studio originally launched two Kickstarters—the first for producing the series' first issue and the second to fund their merchandising department and for creating the volume one hardcover—and will be starting up a Patreon campaign in the near future to continue funding more issues beyond their first volume. Follow Unlikely Heroes Studios at their website, on Twitter, on Facebook, or on their YouTube channel for updates and to learn how to contribute to the success of this truly deserving comic book series. Visit their website to order your copy of volume one or read the first five issues digitally on comiXology, which you can find here.

Now I can't properly close out one of my infamous comic book reviews without a rating, right? Super! Volume 1 gets 5 stars out of 5 for both the writing and art and a big "Good luck and Godspeed!" from me. What are you waiting for? Read more comics and discover new stories and creators! If you've read Super! before, what were your thoughts? Are you a CoH refugee such as myself, and did you get the same Paragon City vibe I did? Let us know in the comments section below!

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