FCBD 2014: Alternate Super-Heroes: Epic / Intrinsic / Skyward+Midnight Tiger / Scam: Crosswords

Marvel & DC don’t have a monopoly on costumed characters, other publishers also have offerings in the costumed characters genre.  These are a sampling of the alternates for people who love their heroes but would like to see the standard super-hero tropes explored outside the Marvel/DC universes.

CREDIT: ComixTribe

Epic #0 (ComixTribe)
Rating: 3.5/5 – High School Kid gets Powers and an Unusual Weakness.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

This is a fun super-hero romp that follows teenager Eric Ardor who gets powers and decides to put on a costume and fight crime.  The art is OK, it gets the job done, but nothing that wowed me.  The story plays with the standard tropes of the super-hero genre and was enjoyable.  I won’t spoil it by revealing Epic’s weakness, it’s the capper to this issue and looks like it will lead to some fun story points in future issues.

CREDIT: Arcana

The Intrinsic: Singularity Zero (Arcana)
Rating: 2.5/5 – CGI Style Art Not Working For Me.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

The Intrinsic are a super-team consisting of Kade – the immortal warrior, Kore – the massive Demon-spawn, Kinetic – master of mental powers, Jas – a young spiritual warrior monk, and Candice Crow – the living embodiment of heat.  This FCBD offering was thin on story, 10 pages that didn’t do a lot to get me drawn into the story.  The art looked to be CGI, the figures were stiff and there was a lack of detail and nuance to the figures.  I didn’t come away from this with a feeling that I wanted to get the #1 issue.

CREDIT: Action Lab

Skyward/Midnight Tiger (Action Lab)
Rating: 4/5 – An Epic Fantasy and a Martial Arts Super-Hero.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

This issue has 2 stories.  It starts with 8 pages of Skyward, a fantasy story by Jeremy Dale we’ve reviewed on ComicSpectrum before.  It’s an epic fantasy and skews to a young/all ages audience.  This is a good sampling of the story, that focuses on Quinn, a young boy who is thrown into the central role in a struggle far beyond his humble beginnings.  A fairly standard fantasy trope.  If you like this sample,  you should check out the series which is up to issue #6 (enough for the 1st TPB!)  The second story is the comic shop debut of Midnight Tiger by Ray-Anthony Height.  Here we get the 12 page origin of Midnight Tiger, a street-level hero with enhanced strength and reflexes.  The setting of Apollo Bay, the hero community, and the way the regular folks live in that environment were all very fun tweaks to the standard super-hero story we get from the Big Two.  I’ll be keeping an eye out for the debut of this series in July.

CREDIT: ComixTribe

Scam: Crosswords #0 (ComixTribe)
Rating: 4/5 – It’s FUN to be Bad.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

This is a spin-off from ComixTribe’s series Scam that focuses on a super-powered con man.  Crosswords is a villain from that series and in this one-shot violence and humor collide as he attempts to extort a European crime boss and merriment ensues.  If you’re a fan of alternate super-heroes laced with a bit more violence then this might be up your alley.  In any event, writer Jason Ciaramella and artist Joe Mulvey really seemed to be having a good time with this issue and that sense of fun was infectious as I read the story.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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