It’s often said that most people would like to be superheroes. Which is why Cameron, a young priest and the protagonist of The Crusader, decides to spend his nights dressed as a masked avenger, prowling the streets seeking to extract justice. Too bad for Cameron, he clearly isn’t very good at the whole superhero thing, because before long people start to discover his poorly-kept secret.
One of those people is his boss, who Cameron initially visits to confess his secret, only to find that he knows all along (“you’re staring longingly at the curtains. hoping to tear one of them down and use it as a cape, no doubt”), and the other is a young woman who he rescues from a group of thugs. Ignoring her non-stop questions (“did you come from space, can you fly”) he escorts her to the local police station, only to meet her again in his church service the following Sunday. Small world, eh?
One of the things that makes Cameron such an enjoyable character to read is that, like Dave Lizewski at the start of Kick-Ass, he is someone who desperately wants to be a superhero and yet has no idea about how to be one. He has no superpowers, no training, and no idea about how to fight. but what he does have is an overwhelming desire to help to make the world a better place, a desire that is so strong that he is able to defeat the group of thugs that he rescues the young woman from, despite the fact that his victory surprises even himself.
The whole person in the real world who chooses to become a superhero is certainly nothing new, but a priest doing it? Now there is something new (Haunt doesn’t count because the character has superpowers). And just as Cameron has decided that he has taken it far enough and gets ready to hang up his cape and boots, what do you you? It turns out that that Lilith, the young woman who he rescued, has a father who is secretly a master criminal who is none to pleased to find that a masked avenger beat up the thugs who attacked his daughter. The thugs that, as it turns out, he sent. The thugs whose remains he wants to be cleaned up after his other henchmen have extracted their punishment.
Writer Philip Nolte (read our interview here) takes the whole ‘superhero in real life’ thing that we think we’ve seen a million times before and turns it on its head by placing Cameron in a traditional superhero situation in which he must deal with a powerful criminal and his nefarious schemes. On the final page, Cameron laments about how he thought that it was all over, but he was wrong. Because like all great new series, it is far from over.
You can find out more about The Crusader and support the Kickstarter campaign here.