I fell in love with Danger Club #1 from the very first page. It looks like something torn from the pages of days gone past. Landry Walker doesn't prance around in this opening issue one bit. He dives right in, giving you an introduction to a world that feels part Teen Titans and part Watchmen as the action unfolds on the pages, which has been sharply drawn by Eric Jones. Sure the creative team borrow some ideas, but instead of it being a distraction, it comes across as intentional. They're just wanting to have fun with the material and it really shines through.
Essentially, Danger Club exists in a world where all the adult superheroes have left the Earth and haven't returned for three months. What's left is a power vacuum filled by youngsters, kids that you'd find in the Young Avengers, Runaways or Teen Titans. It works well, almost like if Lord of the Flies was a bunch of superpowered kids running around as opposed to spoiled British children.
The art is fan-fucking-tastic. Eric Jones delivers a gorgeous book full of sharp; detailed images. He doesn't hold back on the gore either. Ever wanted to know what would happen if Batman really fought Superman in that issue where he decks him with a kryptonite ring? Well just watch what happens between Kid Vigilante and Apollo. Eric Jones delivers several panels that I would easily consider "poster-izing" and putting up on my wall. The color pops off the page, especially with the gaps between panels being all white. It feels like a seamless transition, leaving it hard to tell where the sky ends and the page border begins; it is quite beautiful in some places. Full credit to "Rusty" Drake on that one, his colors blend perfectly and keep up with the fast paced action coming from the hand of Jones. This is easily one of the better first issues I've come across when it comes to the art.
Poster-ize me, Captain
Of course all that would be for naught if the story's pants fell down about its ankles. Landry does an excellent job of paying homage to all of comicdom with this issue. That is what this story feels like, a homage to where comics came from and to where they are going. You can tell where the influences come from for this first issue. Naming the girl piloting the giant robot Yoshimi was genius, at least it is if you follow the Flaming Lips. Landry handles the dialogue superbly; each character has their own voice and feels fleshed out. It also doesn't stand in the way of the action. Landry is content to let Jones handle the action scenes without stuffing them full of dialogue, which can happen sometimes with first issues, writers get so concerned with setting up the series they forget to just let the action speak for itself.
I'm usually fairly hesitant to hand out a 5 when it comes to a review. That number to me represents comic nirvana, the best of the best. Danger Club earned every last bit of that 5 for me. From start to finish I was hooked. Even the costumes felt fresh and inspired, something that is increasingly harder and harder to do. Danger Club is everything that is right with comics right now and I can't wait to see what rabbit hole they take us down.
Dylan B. Tano is a relatively new reviewer powered by a love of bacon and constantly distracted by a kitten who would rather use his laptop as a bed. He grew up idolizing Spider-Man and can’t believe he gets to review comics all day.
You can read some of his short stories at tanoworks.tumblr.com