An interesting new project from writer Luke James Halsall (The Mind Palace, Hoodie) and artist Graeme Kennedy (Villainous), iHero is a superhero tale with an unusual twist, the first issue of which will be available at this weekend’s Glasgow Comic Con.
I had a chance to take an advance look at the first issue, and I have to say, I was pretty impressed with what I saw. Luke and Graeme have combined to tell an interesting tale, to say the least. The story centers around Jack Taylor, a Steve Jobs-esque media mogul who unveils his latest creation – the iHero. The iHero is essentially a tablet that does all the usual things you would expect, with the added bonus of granting its wearer a selection of super powers (Strength, Flight, Super Speed, etc.).
Without delving too much into spoiler-land, the book whips along at a fairly brisk pace, showing the iHero’s inception, before almost immediately delving into some of the more negative (i.e. criminal) applications of the device. Taylor takes it upon himself to recruit a ‘super team’ of sorts, including the first hero, Icon. There’s some humorous moments along the way, and some brilliant pop culture satirisations including an Apple-style TV advertisement that was my personal highlight of the book.
Halsall shows the same flair for creativity here that he showed with his previous work on The Mind Palace (a review of which can be found HERE), and while some of the dialogue can be a little ‘clunky’ in places, the sheer brilliance of the concept carries this book through. He also manages to cram in some memorable characters, including Icon’s daughter Inamorata (a budding superhero in her own right) and the mysterious Sovereign, and leaves enough of a mystery to make me want to know what happens next. Some of the flow can be a little jarring, particularly when dealing with the passage of time (the first issue plays out over a year), but this minor flaw isn’t enough to make any serious impact to the comic as a whole.
Kennedy provides some solid artwork, particularly when it comes to displaying the myriad of super powers granted by the iHero. His colouring is also a thing of beauty, and gives the comic a rich, vibrant appearance that fits perfectly with its superhero concept. Some of the faces are perhaps a little rough, and the combat scenes look a little awkward in places, but his obviously talent is on display here, particularly in the Icon’s “flashback” scene and subsequent double-page spread. Also, it’s worth noting Gary Chudleigh’s ultra-slick lettering which ties the whole thing together.
All in all, this is an extremely interesting title that grabbed my attention and promises a lot of twists and turns as the three-part story continues. As I mentioned, the book – produced by Obscure Reference Comics – is being released at this weekend’s Glasgow Comic Con, and is definitely well worth picking up.
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