Alters #1 (AfterShock)

alters

CREDIT: AfterShock Comics

Rating: 4.5/5 – A World New to Superhumans…With a Twist!
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Brunell

Writer Paul Jenkins delivers an emotional and controversial story of a new breed of super powered people called “Alters”.  As I read the first couple of pages of this comic I felt like I was reading a Marvel X-Men/Inhumans comic or DC comic with metahumans for the first time. I can’t say this is a horribly fresh idea, but it’s done with a really fresh and unique twist.  Alters are popping up all over the globe and in this first issue I’m left wondering if it’s genetic or a science experiment that caused this global power change.

Jenkins astonishes me with how he plays with characters and context. There is the obvious overpowered villain that pretty much rules the world with fear but doesn’t affiliate himself with government, he’s just a complete bully with too much power. The hero who gets the main focus is a stylish high flying female with long blonde hair and a hooded caped costume that has a midriff top and skirt. You can see right off that she can fly, but there is much more to her abilities than just flight. She comes out as a hero flying above Time Square and comes across as free spirited, but when confronted her immediate response is for the safety of herself and her family. She then disappears with a flash of light (at least that’s how I’m phrasing it to not give away a spoiler) and is shown back at home. Like any superhero, she has a personal life that is kept separate and safe from the hero gig. During this time of taking off the superhero costume and relaxing for the night there is a realization that there are more secrets in her life besides her superpowers.

If Jenkins doing the writing wasn’t good enough we are given the high quality art of Leila Leiz. The story alone is fantastic, but Leiz’s art tops everything off. Angles are dramatic, and everything appears very clean and polished. With Leiz and Jenkins working together on this series, things are bound to stay interesting and emotional. I’m a sucker for creative art, and I’m not sure if Leiz was the main designer of the character costumes but they’re great.  The main hero even states that being the person in the hero costume is truly who she really is, mind, body and soul. Being the superhero is probably the easiest aspect of her life right now, and she admits to that throughout the comic.

The first couple of pages leave me feeling like I missed something in another comic series that would’ve laid tracks for this issue. I also have one other thing that is bothering me, but it’s probably just me. This is a very minor spoiler about a scene NOT related to the big reveal in the issue, but it’s still a spoiler so look away now if you don’t want to know…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, there is a moment where something is said about a high end camera getting images of the new Alter heroine. The character saying this makes it sound like the camera is extremely advanced catching high end resolution and movement with very high frame rate. The issue I have with this is it should be perfectly clear in some of the pictures taken that would expose one of the secrets the new heroine has. This segment is past when the bigger secrets are exposed, so you would think a highly advanced machine with a highly advanced camera would notice these things. This is probably me being horribly uptight with technology because that’s my profession, but it’s just a thought I had.

Though the general trappings of this story were familiar, a world that is being introduced to super-heroes for the first time, the characters and details are very original. So original in fact, that it’s become controversial in certain internet circles, and there is nothing like a controversial comic to set a mark in history.  After the stunning reveal in this issue, I’m looking forward to seeing where Jenkins and Leiz take me next.

Reviewed by: Adam Brunell
(adamb@comicspectrum.com
)
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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