The Mantle #1 (Image)


CREDIT: Image Comics

Rating: 3.5/5 – A Little Different From the Average Superhero Comic.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

I loved Ed Brisson’s recent ‘pre-apocalyptic tale’ called Shelter that recently finished it’s run so I was very excited to read his take on super-heroes with The Mantle.  Robbie and Jen are walking home from a rock show in the rain one evening, a little high when Robbie is ‘gifted’ with The Mantle.  A power passed from one host to another when the previous host dies that grants powers to be the protector of mankind.  We also discover that The Mantle has an arch-nemesis out to get each new host called ‘The Plague’ Cool!  Standard superhero origin.  But wait….he’s the 38th host in the past 10 years!   Not a very long life expectancy for the average host.  Will Robbie be average or above average?  That’s what we’re going to find out.

We also meet the 3 other heroes who were on a team with the previous host and they help Robbie understand some of the powers, beyond that there’s not a lot more I can add about the specifics of the story without straying into spoiler territory.  He does have an initial encounter with The Plague in this issue, so the action gets going pretty quickly.  Brisson does a good job of loading all the necessary backstory into the narrative to get the reader set on the status quo and then buckle in for the ride.  Artist Brian Level does a good job keeping the story flowing with some decent super-hero standard type art.  A good choice for a book that’s an alternate spin on the average super-hero tale.

I really liked this debut issue and am looking forward to seeing where Brisson takes us in future issues.  On the face of it we’re not treading completely new ground here.  There are added elements that you won’t find in a standard superhero book (language and drug use) but the story could have survived pretty much the same without them.  There were a could of surprising moments that will get me back for issue #2, I’m keen to see how Brisson kicks this up a notch and makes it stand out even more from the standard superhero book as he carries the story forward.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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