See if you recognize this story: A group of kids were sequestered by by a rich super powered psychic to foster their powers? Familiar? How about those kids didn't live up to their potential and became runaways? How about now? What if they had some really weird powers and couldn't fully control them? Am I getting warm? Or how about those kids were hunted by a super powered killing machine and they only can find protection by joining with an older more experienced hero? Anything come to mind?
What if it all takes place in Oklahoma City?
Ding, Ding. That is at least original.
Now I'm being a bit snarky here because it seems like we have a Runaways, or a X-Factor, or "Insert X here" kinda of story going on. In fact the X-Men tropes are strong in this comic, but that doesn't mean it's bad. It doesn't mean it's that original, but it doesn't mean it's bad.
If you haven't gotten the idea of what the story is about, I'll let Valiant's own comic description tell you for two reasons: 1. I'm Lazy. 2. They can sum up their own narative nicely without my help.
"The government has dispatched Amanda McKee – the technopath codenamed Livewire – to investigate the ruins of a secret facility formerly run by Toyo Harada, the most powerful telepath on Earth and her former mentor. In his quest for world betterment at any cost, Harada sought out and activated many potential psiots like himself. Those who survived, but whose powers he deemed to have no value to his cause, were hidden away at this installation. But Livewire, having studied Harada’s greatest strengths and learned his deepest weaknesses, senses opportunity where he once saw failure. A young girl who can talk to birds… A boy who can make inanimate objects gently glow… To others, these are expensive disappointments. But, to Livewire, they are secret weapons…in need of a leader. Now, as a mechanized killer called Rex-O seeks to draw them out, Livewire and her new team of cadets will be forced to put their powers into action…in ways they never could have imagined…"
Now that, "that" is outta the way, let me explain why this is a worthwhile book to pick up. While it may not be so weird as to make it stand out, it is more unique and interesting than any "X" themed book in recent memory. So if you are looking for super powered teenage angst, this is better than most. If your looking for action, this doesn't disappoint. If your looking for some emotional human connection... well, it tries.
The art really does help the story out. It's drenched is muted tones, which adds an odd ambiance to what might normally be mistaken for a rollicking John Hughes meet cute. The facial expressions are not over wrought, which is a bit of a problem in the industry of late, and the action sequences are depicted with enough brutality to make you pause in appreciation.
I'm not saying this is a great book, because something that is this derivative shouldn't be considered great unless it truly excels in all areas. But it is a good book. One worth buying if only to see where this story might be going. It could just be going into familiar territory, but if it is done well... who really cares?