Writer: Matt Fraction
Penciler: Terry Dodson
Inker, Colorist: Rachel Dodson
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover Artists: Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson
Publisher: Image Comics
2020 has been a garbage year so far, but any year that sees the launch of a new Matt Fraction series can’t be all bad, right? Fraction reunites with the rest of Marvel’s Defenders creative team to send us into an exciting world full of pulp heroes, over-the-top villains, and a lead character who is both charming and relatable.
After a lengthy prologue that introduces readers to the titular character and his band of heroic archetypes, Adventureman shifts gears to focus on single mother Claire O’Connell and her family. Claire and her son Tommy push the narrative out of the Golden Age and into a modern, meta-fictional world in which Adventureman is just a story … or is it?
Clocking in at a mere 56 pages, this debut issue provides plenty of bang for your buck. Despite being three times as long as a normal $3.99 book, the story moves along at a brisk pace, slowing down just enough to shed a little light on our central character and her background. Fraction has created a bevy of fun, pulp-inspired heroes and villains along with a more-than-capable lead in Claire. Whether or not she becomes the new “Adventureman” or merely inspires the next generation of heroes remains to be seen. Likewise, the art team of Terry and Rachel Dodson bring their instantly recognizable style to the proceedings, creating larger-than-life characters that demand the reader’s attention. After spending so much time in this world, the ending may seem abrupt, but it ultimately leaves you wanting more.