Written by Darin Wagner
Art by Clint Hilinski
Colors by Andrew Dalhouse
Letters by Bill Tortolini
Published by Arcana Comics
This is a 4-issue miniseries that was published years ago, I think around 2006. I started to buy it back then mainly because I knew the writer, Darin Wagner, from a couple of message boards we both used to post on. But I never completed it. I honestly don’t remember if I bought the 3rd issue or dropped it after the 2nd, but I know I never got the 4th issue. And I barely remember anything about it other than it was about a bunch of new teenage superheroes. Well, while browsing Comixology I found the whole series for sale as a collection edition so I figured, why the heck not? So I got it. And since I got lack on blogging this month I’m trying to fill this up with posts to make it 30 for the month to match the number of days, so that’s why I’m going to review it here. I’ve started this before actually re-reading this, so I’m now I’m going to read it and then come back and finish this.
So the star of the series is a teenager named Eddie. He’s not exactly a nerd but he does get picked on by bullies, and then he gets chastised by the principal for trying to stand up to him. One day he’s walking home from school when a supervillain named Bash and a superhero named Silverwing begin fighting in the middle of the street. Silverwing is an older man and during the fight, which causes a lot of property damage, he has a heart attack disolves in a burst of blue energy which then seeks out embeds itself inside Eddie, who transforms into the new Silverwing. Eddie is quickly approached by another superhero named Alphaman, who invites him to join a team of young superheroes that he put together and is mentoring, called The Hyper-Actives.
The first time we see the Hyper-Actives they’re in the middle of trying to stop a supervillian called Thrillchiller from escaping from prison. During the fight it’s clear that the team is more interested in showing off and looking good for the cameras than they are in really stopping the villain. The fail, and Thrillchiller gets away, but none of them seem too concerned. The Hyper-Actives are comprised of Rush (super-speed), the defacto leader of the team and the most arrogant of them all, and his sister Reactor Girl, who has Supergirl-like abilities powered by radiation. They also happen to be Alphaman’s children, although he doesn’t approve of they are the rest of the team’s attitudes. There’s also Wereclaw (a wolfman), Surefire (lots of guns), Honeychild (bee/wasp-like powers), Panzer (superstrength), Scandal (it’s not clear what she does), and Boy Genius (a pre-teen who has created many high-tech weapons). Rather than have any heroic ideals, they are mostly focused on being celebrities. When Eddie first shows up at their HQ none of them, except Boy Genius, are happy to see him (they derisively refer to him as a “Ped”, which is slang for pedestrian, someone they consider themselves superior to), nor want him on the team, but Alphamale insists.
Over the course of the rest of the series, they face a surprise attack from a supervillain team called Uberforce, who kidnap some of the members and the rest have to go rescue them. They attend a comic-book convention which gets attacked by a giant nazi robot, and then face the biggest threat they’ve ever faced as a team (NO SPOILERS), and in the end Eddie’s place among them is settled for good (or is it?).
Story-wise it’s not bad. There are a couple of bits of dialog that come off as political-preaching which I didn’t care for, but there is also some interesting bits of commentary on the superhero drama mixed in with some humor and clever parodies. Wagner does a good job in establishing the personalities of the team-members, who’s self-centered outlook is contrasted by Eddie’s eagerness and sense of responsibility. The weakest link is the art, but Hilinski, which comes off as poor attempts to mimic J. Scott Campbell. Overall the series is pretty average.