David Schwartz Writer / Micah Gunnell Art / David Curiel – Colors
Published by Aspen Comics
Leslie has super powers, but does she have what it takes to be the first Superhero Idol and win a spot in The Powered Protectors? In this first issue we get a good look at Leslie’s “origin” story and see just why she is looking for… redemption.
If you have ever watched one of the many singing or talent shows on TV then you know exactly the type of person they want. More than them having a good voice they need a good sob story. Like they run an orphanage for sick puppies, and love to sing while they nurse them back to health. Or that they have to walk twenty miles in the snow every morning with no shoes to visit their ill grandmother so that their wonderful talent will make her feel better. Well, writer David Schwartz has watched them too and has teamed up with artist Micah Gunnell to put a superhero spin on the whole process. It is pretty much what you expect. You have your three judges, (one mean, one nice and one that’s too nice) that are more interested in seeing what Leslie is about than what she can do. It’s from Leslie’s back story that we get a glimpse of what living in a real superhero world would be like for your average citizen. Not too great, it turns out. I actually found this to be the more interesting part of the comic. While the interview sections are laced with parody, they also try to have a serious tone. To me, the two don’t mix very well. The flashback keeps a serious tone throughout and while this is not the first time a comic has shown the plight of the average Joe, it is a compelling version of it.
The art very much follows the Aspen look. While it might not be as polished as something by Joe Benitez, or even Gunnell’s earlier work on Shrugged, it still looks really good. You can immediately tell which stereotype each judge is at a glance, and the overall look captures the kind of cheep cheesy feel of a reality show perfectly. Good art is something you expect from an Aspen comic, and Idolized doesn’t disappoint.
I tend to find that first issues are tricky things to review. More often than not, you are given a premise that will have the potential to be something excellent if you stick with it. At the same time you can see how it can follow a different path and become something you don’t want to read. Idolized falls into this category. I enjoyed this first issue, but from it I can only hope that it manages to keep itself interesting for the rest of the series. Still, there is enough potential in this issue to recommend picking it up.