Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Noel Clarke
Artist: Joshua Cassara
Release Date: 13th January, 2016
The second issue of The Troop – the debut comicbook offering from actor and director Noel Clarke – introduces some new faces to our rapidly growing roster of super-powered teens, but does so with Clarke’s trademark brand of brash, in-your-face realism. Racism, sexual assault, murder; this isn’t your typical fluffy comic book fare, and Clarke doesn’t flinch from any of the more brutal or unpleasant aspects of our new characters’ back stories.
The mystery at the heart of the series sinks its hooks in even deeper here, as the shady government organisation continues to tighten the net around the teens, even employing their own superpowered weapon in their attempts to capture them. At the moment, it’s worth noting that this isn’t anything even vaguely resembling a superhero comic; it’s more like a fight for survival, with the mutant teens living in a constant state of fear and paranoia as their lives are ripped away from them one by one.
Clarke’s gift for world building is on full display as he gradually reveals more and more of the backstory, drip feeding us information and dragging us further and further into the murky, violent story he has created. The characterisation is also spot-on, and even if we haven’t seen too much of the teens interacting with one another to this point, they are each intriguing enough so as to make the reader want to find out more about them – a definite bonus when it comes to introducing so many new characters at the same time.
Artist Joshua Cassara continues to cement his reputation as one to watch in the future with another impressive issue, particularly during the manifestations of the teenagers’ unique power sets. He also does a truly commendable job on the cliffhanger, an eyebrow-raising splash page that warrants a double-take as we try to figure out exactly what the hell we’re looking at. This is a great looking book, no doubt about it, and each of the character designs for the teens are distinctive and diverse enough to keep them recognisable throughout.
Overall, the Troop is undoubtedly one of the most exciting titles to be published by Titan Comics in a long, long time and continues to set itself apart from the deluge of bland, forgettable superhero comics on the shelves today with its strong characterisation, shocking visuals and unapologetically edgy approach. Count me in with this one for the foreseeable future.
If you want to find out a little more about The Troop, make sure to check out my interview with writer Noel Clarke by CLICKING HERE.
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