Comic Review: Captain Kid #1

With age comes wisdom, and allot of medications and a possible prostrate problem. When we get older we often opine that if we only knew what we knew now when we were younger we would have made a whole lot different choices. Stop smoking. Eat less red meat. Major in something other than journalism. Open an IRA dedicated to paying for your hemorrhoid cream dependence. But what if you could... on a whim... make yourself young again? Not just young, but also have amazing super powers like flight, energy projection, super-strength, and second sight? Would you ever leave this form? Why not?

Chris Vargas is a 45 year old music editor for a news paper. It's been a rough year. He's lost his mom, he had to move in with his father to take care of him, got arrested which may have resulted in some expensive dental work, and has developed a persistent cough. His friends, and Logan, give him a small birthday party at the local pub to help him feel worse about himself.

Not as bad as your urinary track infection

His revelry is interrupted by a strange girl dressed like she just came off a Duran Duran music video. She zaps him, tells him to stop being an old man, and gives him a cryptic message about some bad guy. Chris doesn't seem to know who she is but decides to find out what she's talking about.

I would have liked to have known your mom

Chris leaves the pub and transforms into his young alter-ego, Captain Kid. He flies off, but not before the little shit Logan see's him do it. He follows the mysterious "Mr. Serpentine" to what seems to be his evil lair - "Supream Lawn and Garden Supply." He uses his powers to "see" inside the building and discovers that this "Mr. Serpentine" is hiding what appears to be a doomsday weapon. Unfortunately he is discovered by his mark and is forced to fly home and look after his father.

All evil villains have a home depot store fronts... why do you think they exist?

The next day he scampers off to the location that was outside of "Mr. Serpentine's" territory. While enroute, a mysterious energy blast hits a bridge, which starts causing it's collapse. Captain Kid fly's off to save as many people as he can but soon finds he can not hold the bridge together alone. 

Just in case you forgot he was an old man

Good thing that the same girl who was dressed like she was on the set of "Sweating to the Oldies" flies in to lend him a hand. She seems to know allot about Captain Kid. His real name. His powers. Even what he does with his time. She just doesn't seem to know what year it is.

The International Year of Peace as designated by the UN

It should come as no surprise that this comic is great when it has this creative team surrounding it. The legendary Mark Waid (Kingdom Come, Irredeemable, Incorruptable, and too many other to mentioned) shares the pen with the amazing Tom Perey (Hourman, Legion of Superheroes, and Tek Jansen) to craft a interesting, and a bit sardonic, tale. The pencils are done by the amazing Wilfredo Torres (Jupiter's Circle, Lobster Johnson, and The Shadow) while the colors are done by the magnificent Kelly Fitzpatrick (Constantine: The Helblazer, The Black Hood, and Wonder Woman). A team this strong can't help but make something outstanding... So, job done, I guess. 

What Waid and Perey gives us is a reversed "second childhood." When you spend most of your time as a middle aged man and not a young superhero, what does it say about you? About being middle-aged? About youth? About superheroes? It's a refreshing take on ageism in society and how we idealize the youth. All this is conveyed with sardonic wit and excellent pacing; with just the right amount of humanization of the protagonist. 

The art is perfectly complimentary to the terrific writing. It's not overtly cartoony, yet has a simple charm that you find lacking in other mainstream publications. Fitzpatrick and Torres have a complimentary style. Emotions are plain and easy to read, but not so serious that they break the feel of the comic. The action sequences, while brief, colorfully convey the spectacular world of superheroes. 

The bar has been set high for the first comic of this series; I can't wait to see how they raise it!

Rating: 9.5/10 Unguent References