Red Lance is a new independent comic from the mind of creator Gary Bloom. The first issue of the comic series throws its readers straight into the action, barely giving its reader chance to breathe. This is a refreshing take on a comic series. For a new start up comic, you’d expect a backstory, which would take up a lot of time; instead we are thrown head first into the action.
This comic series follows four superheroes: Stonefish, Bricker, Raceway and Cinderhawk. This team is working together to try and stop the latest attack on their town ‘Centrepoint’. Another interesting twist in the first issue, is that the antagonist gets the backstory. We learn that an anxious scientific genius Doctor is being brainwashed by villain Vycia, who feeds off the character’s loneliness. There is an interesting part to the issue which dives into Dr. Kly Perrels history; we learn why the character is so lonely. He has created robotic dogs as his only companions.
Through hallucinations the big bad Vycia manages to control Dr. Perrels into becoming villain Cataclysm, leading to the story of how the town of Centrepoint came under attack.
One of the strongest points for the first issue is the illustrations by Brian McCranie. Illustrations can make or break a new comic series, and Red Lance and the team certainly get it right! The illustrations for this issue are sharp and visually appealing to the eye.
Creator Bloom is proud to highlight the fact that the women of the story are just as strong and important to the story as the men. On the Kickstarter page he writes, “A comic universe where stories are great, heroes are heroes regardless of gender, and no porn-styled costumes. #GenderEquality”. This gives Red Lance an old school superhero feeling, instead of bringing in politics. Bloom has created a comic series which isn’t trying to be anything more than a bit of fun.
Bloom, who also wrote the first issue, has created a group of heroes who are as important as each other. This comes across in the first issue. Each character feels as important as the other. Often when heroes team up, there can be some characters that are pushed into the background. Being able to invest in each character works wonders for the comic.
The only downfall really is the fact it’s only 20 pages, which means it feels like a lot had to be crammed into the first issue. This makes the comic feel a little jumpy between characters and action scenes. But this is only a minor issue in an otherwise entertaining comic.
The villain, Dr. Kly Perrels, is clearly a misguided individual who is set up for some sort of redemption in later issues. This leads to a more interesting and rounded character, making it more enjoyable for readers who will want to invest their time in getting to know him.
As with many before, Red Lance started out as a Kickstarter, with the help of the public, the first issue was made and can now become a full series.
For more of a backstory for the superheroes there is an official Red Lance site, which gives fans a rundown of the heroes’ backstory and delves into their history, explaining their powers and how they attained them. This is an interesting approach. It gives fans a chance to learn about the lead characters, without spending the first few issues covering their backstories.
What will be interesting to see is just where we are taken next in the series. As the series moves along, it will be good to find out a little more about each character. The first issue is a strong start, one which has caught my interest. I will be keen to see where the story goes next.