Writer: Rodney Barnes
Artist: Selina Epsiritu
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Publisher: Lion Forge
Review by Stacy Dooks
I love superhero stories without reservation or regret. They’re easily our modern equivalent to the myths of the gods and heroes of the ancient world, or the heroic sagas that told the tales of extraordinary men and women in times past. They give us the chance to view the best elements within ourselves through a new lens, and the best stories of the genre let us experience bravery and compassion, problem-solving and ingenuity through new and different eyes. Are they juvenile power fantasies? In the wrong hands, yes. But when you’ve got a great creative team and an interesting wrinkle on a classic concept, you can recapture that old magic in new and exciting ways — which brings me to Quincredible #1.
Quin is in many ways a typical 21st-century teen: into computers and tech, a bit shy and introverted, and dealing with things like a burgeoning crush on a girl who barely knows he exists while failing to duck bullies who make his life a living hell. He’s got a good family life with a supportive father and well-meaning (if more than slightly overprotective) mother. But Quin has a secret: after an encounter with a fallen meteor, it seems he can’t get sick anymore, and he can’t get hurt. He’s become a modern-day Achilles, only apparently without that troublesome heel problem. He’s invulnerable, impervious to any form of harm. . .and that’s it. No flight, no super-strength, no energy beams from the eyeballs. So far Quin’s been keeping this strange new ability a secret, but when a peaceful demonstration in his hometown of New Orleans gets violent, our young protagonist finds himself taking the first tentative steps toward becoming a hero.
The best superhero stories use the concept of super-powers as a metaphor for the power we have in our daily lives, as well as for the sheer cool factor of what it’d be like to fly, or bend steel bars in our hands. With Quincredible #1, we see a young kid given what seems like the ultimate power: nothing can hurt him. Punch him, shoot him, throw him off a rooftop and he’ll just bounce back. But what’s it like when the power you have doesn’t seem to be all that practical? Is it the power’s fault, or is it your own for not seeing its potential? Quincredible #1 explores these ideas quite nicely, and as a debut issue it introduces a number of interesting elements. Rodney Barnes’s writing sets the stage for this new series with engaging characters and a seriously intriguing setting in a New Orleans that appears to be the City of Adventure for the Lion Forge superhero universe, where a meteor shower gave a number of people superhuman powers. I really enjoyed his character beats with Quin, his would-be girlfriend Brittany, as well as Quin’s inner monologue as he tries to figure out just what to do with both his life and his power. The art by Selina Espiritu is excellent, bringing the action and drama beats to vivid life, complimented nicely by Kelly Fitzpatrick’s colors. The lettering by Tom Napolitano gives each character a distinctive voice, be it conveyed through word balloons or caption boxes.
The Verdict: Buy it.
There’s nothing better than getting in on the ground floor of a new superhero universe and Quincredible #1 captures the spirit of teen hero titles like the Lee/Ditko Spider-Man and the McDuffie/Cowan Static. Run, don’t walk.