“Try Something New.” That challenge is the whole reason for this feature’s existence. Month in and month out we buy the comics we know and love, the ones we look forward to every time but there are countless series that travel under our radar, ones that we just don’t give a chance and get passed by. That’s why I made a vow: every week I’d pick up an issue for a series that wasn’t on my pull-list in the hopes of finding a hidden gem. Welcome to Off The Shelf where we’ll discover if my leap of faith paid dividends this week. Also, I should mention that there be SPOILERS in this review. You are warned!
Jeff Kline, Salvi Garcia, and Javi Garron
Prior Experience With Title
None, but considering this is a new property I’m in the same boat as pretty much everyone else, besides those who have read the first three issues that is.
Why Did I Give It A Shot?
I found the original premise fun: an ordinary guy accidentally gets mistaken as being a neigh-indestructible superhero and must somehow continue the ruse, getting swept up in a whirlwind of circumstances.
We open the issue as a woman code-named Stingray is being released from prison. She’s disappointed that a certain someone is not there to pick her up though and refuses to go with the driver that he sent. Understanding her choice, the driver writes down some info on a guy she should look up when she reaches Los Angeles. The scene then shifts to L.A. where we meet our main character, Gregory. After a brief introduction to his family, we transport to later on in the evening and join Gregory’s date with an actress named Desiree. The two of them are waiting outside of a night club, Desiree growing increasingly tired and bored waiting, the real reason she went out with him in the first place being that she thought he knew a guy that could gain them access to the club. She hands Gregory an empty flask and asks for the keys to his car so she can get some stronger booze. Just then a superhero named Blaze walks by the line and is granted immediate access to the club. Before he enters, Blaze spots Desiree and asks her to join him which she eagerly does. Gregory is left dateless but his major concern is that she still has his keys.
be overdue titles from the rental store, Gregory is convinced by Barry to return them for him, holding some past event over his head. Gregory reaches the store only to witness Cathy closing up but he begs her to open up and she obliges. The two of them quickly connect on a personal level but suddenly a duo of thieves come into the store because Cathy had forgotten to lock the door back up. They demand that she hand over the money in the safe but she tries to tell them she is unable to access it. Believing she is lying, the thieves continue to threaten her until Gregory decides to interject and one of the crooks shoots him for his troubles. Cathy faints from shock and the two crooks bolt out of the store post-haste.
Gregory wakes up completely out of it and groggy but somehow makes his way home. Barry takes one look at him and wonders what is up, uncovering that Desiree’s flask, which was positioned in the front of Barry’s jacket pocket, actually stopped the bullet. Gregory wakes up the next day and tries to piece together the prior night’s events only to be shocked by what he sees on the television. The police recovered video tape from the store and are airing Gregory’s miraculous recovery. They mistakenly label him as a brand-new, indestructible powered hero and request the public’s help in identifying him. Gregory wants to come forward and admit the truth but Barry convinces him to hold off, wanting to relish in the temporary fact that he is friends with a hero. Gregory reluctantly agrees and proceeds to call Desiree so he can get his car back. She picks him up but takes a detour to a nearby hotel where they make love. It turns out that she had seen the news report as well and reveals that she is not really an actress but a superhero groupie. The issue ends with the police bursting into the room and pepper spraying Gregory in the eyes in order to capture him and take him in.
Gregory’s Mother: Gregory–celebrities know when you’re staring at them.
Gregory: I’m not staring. I’m glancing.
Barry: You’re a superhero!
Gregory: No, I’m not.
Barry: No more waiting in line at Disneyland. Or sitting in nosebleed seats at Staples. Or begging twins for a threesome…
Barry: Being a superhero means fame. And fortune. And every other word that starts with an “F” that you can think of!
Desiree: A groupie screws the band. A muse inspires them.
Gregory: Inspires them to…?
Desiree: “Go bravely into battle.”
Final Verdict: Why the police took such strong measures against Gregory at the end of the issue left me puzzled and after completing the first issue I was on the fence of what I should do. On one hand I can see the potential that this series has and can’t wait to see them deliver on it. On the other hand…they could fail to deliver altogether. This first issue didn’t blow me away in terms of art or story but I’m willing to take a gamble and see how this all plays out. Thusly, I’m going to Add It To My Pull-List.