Writers: Sam Johnson & Mike Gagnon
Artists: Pablo Zambrano, Eleonora Kortsarz, Ron Gravelle, Fran Jung & Graham Pearce
Publisher: Actuality Press
Cover Price: $2.99
Who Wants Salad?!
Meet The Almighties, a hilarious Avengers-esque rag tag bunch of superheros comprised of field leader Maxi Tron, British punk/werewolf Nite Fang, Canadian heroine Ms. F, psychopathic merc for hire Mason and (my personal favorite) Greek kebab wielding Stefanos. In this issue we are introduced to the team while learning their origin stories, meet a potential new member, the immortal Wayne Winston and also join the squad on their first mission together facing old boss White Out and his Robot, Adolf 3000 (?!). Throw in some priceless references (someone is a Spice Girls fan), amusing nods to the superhero genre and a fantastically bonkers time travel subplot and voilà, you’re in for a great issue!
The comic opens very briefly with Maxi-Tron’s backstory, but then jumps to the main plot; Stefanos meeting with the “dubious” Joe Cyborg to discuss rebooting the team after a mysterious failed mission (who’s Coleslaw eh?) but he then reviews the members of The Almighties case files for suitability for the strike force – cue origin stories montage! We are then transported to the intriguing underground Subterranniea (“infused with magics, it can open portals in time and space” oooh!) where we meet potential team member Wayne Winston, aka The Almighties answer to Wade Wilson/Deadpool, a non stop wise cracking immortal. The narrative then transports us to the aftermath of the previously mentioned ill fated mission where we learn of Coleslaw’s demise. A really intriguing story line evolves from the tragedy involving Stefanos travelling back in time to save his friend from becoming a brain-damaged synthetic cyborg; it’s a fantastic arc to explore in future issues and sets up an exciting larger story.
I really enjoyed the issue’s toing and froing narrative, it was a cleverly engaging device to use when introducing the character’s origins as we’re all pretty bored of re-telling typically formulaic backstories by now (yes I’m looking at you Batman!). Considering the potential origins pitfall I was surprisingly hooked throughout the whole comic due to the rapid pacing, brilliant humor and well thought out plot threads. There were also some hilarious references including; Loose Women, the A-Team and one of Hulk’s lines from The Avengers. This comic’s humor and storytelling really didn’t fail to impress and had me laughing out loud on many occasions, particularly at Stefano’s battle line – “who wants salad!” Did I mention the kebab is his weapon of choice?! Chuckle.
Overall I thought the superheroes that make up The Almighties were pretty promising; I know they’re parodies of certain other well known superheroes, but I enjoyed the fact that they had quirkier origin stories than usual (Ms. F was bitten by a radioactive dust mite for example…) I do admit Stefanos and Ms.F were my favorites in this issue though, as I feel they are both really well fleshed out characters with great potential. However I did feel that a lot more frames were devoted to certain characters over others (that I probably would have preferred to explore in greater detail) as there was a lot of time spent introducing Wayne Winston. Hopefully in future issues we’ll spend more time exploring the lesser known characters, (Nite Fang & Mason) and also see more of the team assembled and working together as The Almighties.
The Almighties #0 was illustrated by five different artists; Pablo Zambrano, Eleonora Kortsarz, Ron Gravelle, Fran Jung & Graham Pearce, with each illustrator making their own mark exploring different art styles for each individual characters. For Wayne Winston’s panels set in Subterranniea, Pearce utilised a very cartoonish style paired with heavy outlines and bold reds, yellows and purples to highlight the craziness of the character. On the other hand, Kortsarz panels for Ms.F are more your typical superhero style art with the first shot of the character a great action pose – very Supergirl! The penciling of the characters is far more detailed and intricate, whilst accentuating the character’s bold eye colours and Ms.F’s blonde hair, whilst overall blended nicely with a blue hue.
Overall the issue was a strong and hilarious debut for Actuality Press’ new gang of superheroes, with some fantastic characters and an intriguing story-line to explore in future issues. It’s a very entertaining issue that pokes fun at the ‘tights and cape’ genre; you can just tell how much Johnson & Gagnon enjoyed creating this issue! Keep up the great work guys!
Check out some promo pages from the issue below.