By Daniel Clifford and Lee Robinson
We reviewed the preview issue, and previewed this issue in March, but now Daniel Clifford and Lee Robinson have released the first issue of their all-ages superhero comic. And no surprise, it carries on all the fun of the preview issue.
I loved the summary quote Clifford came out with: “We’re aiming for a Pixar remake of Planetary”, and although the Pixar element is right there in front of your eyes, I’ve not seen much of the Planetary element yet, although this is still the first issue. Let’s give it time.
What we do have is 22 pages of a great, fun, fast paced, perfect for the kids, great for us grown-ups comic.
There’s a lot to enjoy here; a first issue all about introducing the world to Halcyon, Brink City’s shining light of a superhero, as he introduces his son as his new sidekick Tenderfoot. This is really nicely done superheroing for a new generation, harking back to the classics, yet doing it with a modern sensibility. Very early on, Clifford makes it quite clear, through Halcyon’s words, that this isn’t going to be one of those grim and gritty super-types. No, Halcyon is your basic Superman, truth, justice, and the Brink City way, clean and pure, old school superheroing.
The Pixar like artwork by Robinson works extremely well, and yes, it is just like The Incredibles, but what’s wrong with that?
The A4 format gives us lots of space for the art and as we go through the issue the panels get bigger and bigger, with Robinson’s line getting slightly rougher at larger size. Personally I think it would have been a better fit to stay tight and rely less on big panel pages, but there’s also a sense of an acceleration alongside the storyline as we get to the climactic cliffhanger for the next issue.
You’ll see Halcyon introduce his son Tenderfoot to the people, see the impatience of the youngster as they have a little downtime post introduction, brilliantly done by Robinson in one page (above), and finally see them face off against the villain of the piece; The Halogen Man.
This feels like one of those comics that could, should, really take off.
Despite reworking so many elements of classic superhero stuff, it does so in such a way that makes it feel rather fresh, and lots of fun, lots of stuff for us, lots of stuff for the kids. My only problems with it are Robinson’s slightly raw artwork in the latter half, and the quarterly schedule. Yes, I understand the whys and sympathise, but for children to really get into this, a monthly schedule would have been ideal. It’s another one to find its way into the school library, and hopefully some of the target audience will let us know what they think of it.
You can buy the comic from ArtHeroes.co.uk with options for physical copy, digital copy, or annual 4-issue subscriptions in print or digital flavour.