Happy Comic Release Day!
I’ve been looking over my previous columns and realize that I tend to use the word “fun” when describing projects and also that I’ve focused on a lot of DC and Marvel work. This is likely because my taste tends to favor superhero and adventure stories that don’t take themselves too seriously.
But I’m always glad to find an independent project that I enjoy.
The perception for independent comics, I think, is that they’re the literary fiction version of sequential art. This is partly true, given works like Maus or Blankets. But independent comic companies also produce excellent genre stories, like this week’s pick, Prodigal: Egg of First Light from APE Entertainment.
Prodigal is a retrieval team. If you’ve lost something and have the money to pay them, they’ll get it back for you, no questions asked.
In this two-part adventure, they’re contracted by a mysterious group of mystics who’ve been guarding something called the Egg of First Light, which is likened to Pandora’s Box.
Pae Mae Jacinto is the front person and brains of the operation. Byron Lennox is the field agent. In the first issue, they face an iron-suited enemy, a pack of not-quite-ninjas and an inter-dimensional army of warriors who seem to think the egg is their birthright. Not to mention the mystics, who haven’t quite told them everything.
What Kids Will Like About It:
Mine predictably loved all the fights, starting with Byron and the armored enemy smashing through a roof. “Cool!” said the youngest son. There are wonderful exotic locales, especially in the other dimension. Like Spider-Man, Byron keeps up a steady string of banter during his fights. My son was grinning through his monologue about hating ninjas and magic.
What Parents Will Like About It:
Action comics are hard. Too much action and it doesn’t feel like enough story. Too little action and the pace slows down and the story can get dull. Prodigal has just the right mix of story with fantastic art to go with the script. The facial expressions, ranging from angry to determined to boggled, are wonderful. There’s a real dynamic flow to the scenes and yet there’s just enough story to make you care what happens to Byron and Pae.
My son voted for Byron crashing through the roof with the armored man. I vote for Byron’s fight with the almost-ninjas, especially the puff of smoke as the ninjas disappear.
About the Creative Team:
Genre 19 is the team name for writer Geoffrey Thorne and artist Todd Harris. According to the team, Prodigal was influenced by movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Big Trouble in Little China. You can find out more about them at their websites or in an interview I did last month for Sequential Tart.
Where You Can Buy It:
The first issue is coming out the third week of February and the second will be out the following month. You can order both issues through your local comic shop. Ape has a link to retailers at its website.