Guess what time it is, interwebs!
“What time is it?!” the anxious masses respond.
It’s time to show some indie comics love!!
“Hooray! Indie week! Indie week! Indie week,” shouts the frenzied assembled crowd!
OK. OK. Settle down, you two.
As a creator developing and writing my own indie comics, this particular segment of the market is pretty close to home for me. Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and the like, are great and all, but the small press publishers deserve some time in the spotlight too. Besides, Nerd Vice has to cash in on the Avengers madness somehow, right… well, sort of. With all that being said… and awaaay we go!!!
Today, we’ll be reviewing The Almighties #1, a 32 page $3.99 comic, published by Actuality Press and released in May 2012. The Almighties #1 features a plot by the series creator, Sam Johnson, who also contributed the script, along with Mike Gagnon. The art was handled by Eleonora Kortsarz, Pablo Zambrano, and D.C. White. Color duties were taken care of by Mike Gagnon, Gulliver Vianei, and Jennifer Scott. The lettering was done by Kris Johnson. The Almighties #1 also has a limited edition with a variant cover that parodies the Avengers’ movie poster.
This cast of comically dysfunctional characters is led by Maxi-Tron, the high-tech armor wearing team leader, and the crew just seems to get stranger from there. Ms. F is a flying super-strength powered hottie, who just can’t wait to beat criminals with the emotional baggage from her broken marriage. Nite Fang is a money grubbing Brit, who is as big a smart mouthed jerk as he is a werewolf. Mason is a mercenary with a loose screw, looking for the quickest way he can find around the team’s “no killing” rule. Ah, and then there’s my favorite member of the team, Stefanos, dear dear Stefanos, who appears to be a simple stereotypical Greek immigrant who runs a kabob shop and runs around beating down bad guys with a huge skewer of meat and has secret meetings with heads of state. You know… normal stuff. Oh, Stefanos, what the feezlef*#k do you do and who do you do it for, man???!!!
The adventure begins when a mysterious backer calling himself White Out first gathers The Almighties to be trained as a team. From there, things go from strange to stranger as White Out sends the team on one bizarre mission after another. What is White Out hiding and why the hell does his butler look like he’s been lobotomized?! From pummeling rogue animal rights activists to playing “alien playaz” to grinding up goons in a coffee shop to fighting robo-Nazis and more, The Almighties #1 is full from cover to cover with wacky fast paced over the top action and laughs. Case in point, when Li’l Jonze tells the other playaz what he needs a supermodel for, things get a bit… uh… detailed, and with laugh out loud results! Unlike it’s heroes, who had to stop so Stefanos could put the fries on, the one-liners in this book are always right on time.
To the art department, old chums! The art duties for this issue were divided into three parts: Pages 1-11 were done by Eleonora Kortsarz, pages 12-22 were done by Pablo Zambrano, with the remainder contributed by D.C. White. While the quality of the artwork was serviceable all around, the number of different artists and variations does detract from there being more of a sense of continuity in the art. I, personally, liked the pages by Kortsarz the best. The colorist responsibilities were also divvied up, in a similar fashion, between Gulliver Vianei and Jennifer Scott. Their color work seemed to blend and mesh well, though. The colors didn’t suffer as much from lack of continuity as the pencils and inks.
In summation, The Almighties is an enjoyable and often hilarious ride, and more nuttiness than you can pack into even the most “special Thursday.” The send ups and playful winks at past Marvel events and the Avengers are all in good fun and The Almighties still feel like their own characters, while still clearly parodying their more famous counterparts. With all the dramatic and serious things going on in many comics these days, this is a book that is not afraid to make its number one mission to make you laugh.
I give The Almighties #1 a solid 2.5 Long-boxes out of four.
For more about The Almighties, check out www.thealmighties.com
All images are property of Sam Johnson and Actuality Press.