Independent comics look at superheroes completely different to mainstream- they look at their flaws more deeply, their personal lives and how the public view them. Start Again issue 1 is no different with Gravity suffering from visions, depression and anger issues. Whilst several superheroes have experienced this I don’t recall many falling naked into an street, going viral then being suspended from their government job. This story shows our obsession with celebrity culture and how celebrities even superheroes are humans with their own families and problems which we should think about before celebrating their downfall. The reason this comic works is because Ajay is so down to earth, damaged and in the face of problems tries to be sarcastic so that you can’t help but route for him. The dialogue as well is so British with its swearing, phrases and sarcasm that it stands out from many of the mainstreams and endears you towards the comic. Using James (Ajay’s friend) as a narrator is an interesting choice because it allows us to get a view of how others are reacting to Ajay’s fall from grace but I can’t help but think by not using first person narrator it hints that something might happen to Ajay in following books. This uncertainty of why Jamie chose to use the main character’s friend as the narrator as well as the last page cliff hanger make me want to read more.
Now I’ve talked enough about the story and writing, it’s time to look at the art. What first stands out is the use of colours everywhere from backgrounds to clothes, most people stand out which makes this comic a lot less gritty and gloomy then it could have been given the subject matter. For a superhero comic there isn’t much action with only one shove in the whole comic which makes it hard for the artist to be dynamic. But Toni manages to bring the comic to life without the action by using multiple different angles and focuses in the talking scenes, various shaped panels and my personal favourite when he draws the page as if it’s on devices.
To conclude, this was an enjoyable and different read with a flawed protagonist, great dialogue and surprisingly little heroics although it worked.
David Jenkins write comics, short stories and screenplays in all spec genres as well as historical fiction. He regularly blogs about writing, the horror genre and reviews at several sites including Bloodshed and Comic Book News UK. His first Kickstarter campaign for Vampires Of Hungary will start in March see some pics at https://www.facebook.com/davidjenkinswriter/posts/574278866242910?pnref=story and for more info follow David on social media at https://www.facebook.com/davidjenkinswriter and https://twitter.com/davidjenkwriter.