From its first moments, The Five of Us powers up to power through. Its sleek and classic style perfectly matches that of the characters, while the author makes it look so easy!
I sat with All Starts Here, the first issue of this indie comic. The digital copy I received is 57 pages long and kept me entertained for the best part of 20 minutes.
Okay. Let’s get into it!
The story drags us to Brooklyn, New York. An agitated professor and his unwilling assistant are carrying some sort of magical rings. The pair has seemingly pulled a heist, only to reject their first buyer. The duo’s now heading to their second buyer in the seedy boroughs of the city, when here comes our Quartet.
We’re introduced to four friends: Will, Marcus, Richard and Terrence. By a twist of fate, Will recognizes the professor from an earlier encounter. After a brief confrontation, the man obtains four of the rings which immediately entice the entire group.
There is one odd man out however. The professor’s assistant has fled and with him was another ring. This one also finds itself an owner, a young man named Jacob who doesn’t know the other members at all. That’s where this volume ends.
The 4 + 1
Moving forward, I think that the character of Jacob will be instrumental to the story. Here we have a completely detached element, with powers similar to those of the protagonists, of whom we know nothing. He might turn out to be a powerful ally or even go rogue and follow his own path.
The main characters, on the contrary, are just like you’d expect four teenagers to be. They each fill out their role and by extension make the group feel dynamic. Though, that does have its drawback!. The characters feel a little bit generic, they act very static, and interactions almost appear skin-deep. I known, this is just the beginning of their grand adventure. Maybe things will change later on.
Something that I particularly surprised me was a specific scene involving Will. The chosen teenager finds the professor shot and in need of dire help. He promises to go find help, then doesn’t come back and instead goes to his friend Richard’s apartment. He may be a teenager, but c’mon! He must surely know that he just left someone to die back there!
Scenery of the City
What it lacks in depth, The Five of Us finds in its artstyle. I really liked the little dashes of details that make the city come alive. On some panels, the images seem to be captured in real life and only given a nice comic feel later. Also, I really enjoyed the softly blended shadows of each scene that hue on the characters.
With New York as their background, the group will visit a variety of locations. Fortunately, the scenery changes seamlessly. This is a city after all, the city that never sleeps. Every page radiates that busy feeling which flatters the fast-paced comic nicely.
Still, I had some issues with the writing; though that’s just my opinion. Throughout the pages, there is an ever-prevalent narrator who seems to direct the scene from the background. He gives out some vague text about what is happening to the characters, the future, and introduces each panel.
In all truth, I thought their tone was more of a hindrance than a welcome addition. These kids are teenagers with super power rings! The tone was way too serious for the book. Perhaps, it would have been more suited for a noir novel!
The Rings of Power
Now let’s spend a few moments on the rings. Infused with some sort of magic, these accessories give each wearer powerful abilities. I absolutely love the panels depicting the power suits, they truly show the strength shining from this indie comic. The feats are amazing and the skills that each character can control with the power suit give us hints on the person’s backstory as well.
The only thing that tried me was this: how exactly did the power get activated or released? The transformations are not instantaneous and the two characters that actually did happen to morph were doing mundane things; walking home and playing basketball. Regardless, this is just the beginning of this indie comic and I’m still interested to see more.
The Five of Us Assemble!
There is a lot of explaining and not much in the way of showing in The Five of Us, but the build-up is there to keep you satisfied. You’ll yearn to know about the characters and their story, their motivations and whatever enemy they’ll need to battle next.
So, if you what you read up to this point interests you, get yourself a copy and feel free to dive right into it!