“ROUTE 3” #1

This is a new creator-owned comic written by Robert Jeffrey II, whose work I’ve reviewed before in a short story he wrote in the PLATYPUS VS. MONKEY anthology, and drawn by Sean Damien Hill, with colors by Ann Siri. The story of the first issue is called “A TYPICAL DAY”, but this story is anything BUT typical.

The story opens with several caravans of U.S. army soldiers being taken to Stone Mountain, a Confederate landmark in Georgia. We discover that the army has been called in because a 16 year old kid named Sean Anderson has threatened to blow up the mountain. For whatever reason, this kid and his terroristic threats are being taken seriously, which is why the army has been brought in, but only as support to the local authorities. When they get there, we see the young Black man emerge, flying in the air, with fantastic energy powers, which he uses to blow up the mountain and easily defend himself against the soldiers when they try to shoot him. Then suddenly an adult Black man, who appears to have similar powers (except the energy around him is red, instead of blue, like the energy around Sean), appears in the air, and Sean and the man fly straight towards each, while the soldiers look on in shock.

Cut to 6 months earlier, and we see Sean in his house in Georgia, waking up from a strange nightmare. He lives with his father and older brother, and we learn that Sean’s mother died of some kind of illness 3 months prior, and ever since then Sean has been acting like he doesn’t care about anything, just sort of sleep-walking through life, which has his family concerned. @ school we see Sean with his best friend Ricardo, who also makes note of Sean’s blasé attitude. Meanwhile, a mysterious man (the man seen fighting Sean @ the mountain with his powers) has hired some local drug dealers to kill Sean, and even the dealers are concerned about what is so important about a seemingly innocent teenager that anyone would want them dead, but they accept the job anyway. After school, Sean is approached by a girl named Samie, who asks him out on a date for that Saturday, which he agrees to, much to the surprise and delight of Ricardo. Then Sean accidentally bumps into somebody and falls down. When he looks up, it’s the mysterious man from earlier. TO BE CONTINUED.

So, for the writing I’d give this a
The biggest problem I’d have is that the story is practically all set-up. It’s clearly meant to entice the reader to come back for the next issue to learn more, but I do feel like a bit more info could have been revealed here, to make us care about the lead character. As it stands, he’s still basically a blank slate. All we know is that 6 months later he’ll be a super-powered “terrorist.” I do find that intriguing, but I could see how some readers might just find the story lacking. But hopefully they will come back, as I plan to.

The art I’ll give
, it was a little amateurish, albeit decent enough. My main complaint is that some of the faces, particularly of the adult males in the book, were hard to distinguish. The only reason I knew that the main “bad guy” was the same person from the time he’s ordering the hit on Sean to the time he bumps into him is that he’s wearing sunglasses.

That being said, I feel comfortable recommending this book. It’s only $1.99, and currently available only as an ebook. But if you’re one of those print-snobs, don’t let that turn you off. You can order it through the Comicsplus website, and read it directly on the site, or download the app, for free, on your PC/Laptop/iPad/Tablet and then read the comic wherever you are. Believe me, I was a late-bloomer when it comes to ebooks, but once you get the hang of it it’s not really any different than reading a print comic. And ROUTE 3 #1 is worth it.

Learn more @ Terminus Media

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