Written by Anthony Ruttgaizer
Drawn by Phillip Sevy
Colors by Fred C. Stresing
Published by Action Lab Entertainment
This is a 4 issue miniseries with an interesting premise. The world is like our except a small percentage of people occasionally randomly manifest super-powers. The cause is unknown, but the problem is that everyone who gets powers eventually becomes dangerously insane. The first public superhuman was John Hinckley Jr., the man who, in the real world, attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981. The same thing happens in this comics, except we see in flashbacks that instead of a gun, Hinckley used his newly developed super-power to shoot lightning bolts from his fingers to try to kill Reagan. He still failed (although he did kill James Brady in the attempt) and was either captured or killed (it’s not clear). That’s when Reagan publicly announced the existence of people with these super-powers (they’re called “extrahumans” in this book) and the fact that they become insane. Congress passed a bill stripped any extrahuman of their civil rights a special military unit called the Extrahuman Task Force was created specifically to kill or capture anyone possessing powers.
Flashforward to today, where we are introduced to our POV character, Jacob Roth, a U.S. Marine stationed in Afghanistan when his unit is suddenly ambushed by snipers. As he tries to fight back he gets captured and soon finds himself about to be beheaded by terrorists, but that’s when his super-powers suddenly manifest. He appears to have super-strength and the ability to deflect bullets while some glowing energy radiates from his hands. Although clearly confused Jacob defeats the terrorists and escape back to his base and is given a clean bill of health and is prepared to be sent back home to his family in America. But Jacob didn’t tell anyone about his powers and he’s worried that like all of the other extrahumans he is going to go insane and could be a danger to himself, his family, and his friends. But he’s scared to tell anyone because he knows what happens to extrahumans. So he’s left unsure of what to do next.
It’s a good first issue, the set up of the status-quo of this title was done well, and then it got right to the action. Jacob’s internal monologue as he tries to figure out what’s happening to him and what he’s going to do about it also rings true. There’s a brief dream sequence which shows how concerned he is for his family. So writing-wise, I don’t have many complaints (other than one panel where one of the terrorists proclaims “Mohammmed guide me!”, which isn’t something one of them would say, because Muslims don’t pray to Muhammad). Writer Anthony Ruttgaizer does a good job here, and he’s ably backed by artist Phillip Sevy who illustrates the action pretty well. Overall, solid work by this team.