Written by Darin Henry
Drawn by Craig Rousseau
Published by Sitcomics
PREVIOUSLY: STARTUP #1.1
Picking up later that same night from the events of the first issue, Renee makes it back home and wakes up her son Malcolm, to tell him all about her transformation and new superpowers. Through concentration, Renee is able to transform at will from her normal 300 lbs. self, to her new thin body. She notes that even when physically thin, she still weighs 300 lbs., and speculates that it’s all that extra mass that allows her thin body to move at superspeed.
It’s comic-book science. Just go along with it, okay?
Malcolm takes all of this info surprisingly well, he immediately start to convince his mother that she must become a superhero, and even designs her costume and comes up with the same Startup for her. For some reason neither of them mention any of this to Grandma, who spends most of this issue sleeping on the couch when we see her. Renee goes back to work the next day, in her new thin form, which I was surprised about. The tagline for this title, repeated in both the first issue and this one, is that she is a “300 pound single mother by day/300 mile per hour superhero by night!” So it would seem most logical that she maintain her normal form as part of her secret identity. Also there’s the fact such a drastic weight loss in one day is bound to raise suspicion in everyone who knows her. And, indeed, all of her coworkers react with shock. We meet Renee’s friend Angie, who is also overweight and reacts with a some barely disguised jealousy. And then there’s Dawson, the handsome District Attorney from last issue, who barely noticed Renee before but now is infatuated with and asks her out to dinner. Angie rightfully tries to caution Renee about Dawson’s sudden interest, but Renee agrees to go out with him anyway.
That day a major supervillain named Madame Macro is due to appear in court for her trial, but then another female supervillain named Press arrives to break her out. With some encouragement from Malcolm via Text, Renee switches to her costume and rushes to confront the villians, in her first public adventure as Startup. But then the issue ends with another cliffhanger, which shows that Renee may have to rethink how careful she is about her secret identity.
Another great issue, it’s written like the kind of superhero comics I read as a kid, but I don’t mean that in any kind of “retro” way. I mean despite being a 2nd issue, and ending with a cliffhanger, Darin Henry manages to tell a complete story by itself in one issue. This appears to be a lost art among comic-book writers these days. But this is done so well that even if you hadn’t read the first issue, you should have no problem keeping up with who the main character are and what’s going on. Renee herself is classic superhero in that her sole motivation is to just do the right thing (well, and to make her son proud). She has gotten these powers and now “with great power comes great responsibility” (no, that line is not actually in this comic, I’m just making a point).
And, once again, ably backed by the clean and stylish artwork of Craig Rousseau, Startup is shaping up to be one of the best new superhero titles on the market. I recommend you check this out.