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Image United #0

Posted: Thursday, March 25, 2010
By: Michael Deeley

Robert Kirkman
Erik Larsen, Whilce Portacio, Ryan Ottley
Image Comics
“Image Untied”

In this prelude to the Image United mini-series, the new hero Fortress is testing the powers of his armor. He runs across the Savage Dragon who mistakes him for a supervillain. But the two quickly team-up against Doc Seismic, a minor villain with increased powers and madness. Fortress defeats Seismic by absorbing his powers, then has a vision of the Image heroes united against a terrible evil. Plus, Chris Giarrusso does a humorous take on the Image United story so far.

I was disappointed by this comic. It literally begins in the middle of an action scene. Fortress is jumping around on the first page thinking about how great his new suit is. We learn nothing about where the suit came from or how he got it. It feels like there are a few pages missing from the start of this story. The way Fortress is portrayed here contradicts the rest of the series. Issues #1 and #2 show him speaking in a more experience, mature tone. Here he’s an excited kid with a new toy. They just don’t sound like the same person. And could Fortress be the most generic “Image” character I’ve ever seen? White eyes, white hair, mysterious origin even he doesn’t know, and a suit with oversized boots. Through some pouches around his legs, and you’ve “90s man.”

The rest of the story is a fairly typical superhero team-up. Two heroes meet, misunderstand each other, fight, then defeat the real enemy. It’s not bad, but not terribly original. There are also pages that look familiar, like homages or swipes.

There are profile pages for Fortress, Dragon, and Seismic in the style of the old Handbook to the Marvel Universe. They provide some useful information about the characters. I wish other issues of Image United had these profiles. It’s been years since I read anything with these characters and I could use the updates. It would be better than the pointless backup stories they’re running now.

The high point of the comic is Giarrusso’s take on Image United in the style of his “Mini Marvels”. Fortress tries to bring the Image heroes together, but they all complain about how Fortress has drawn them. A possible inside joke about the Image artists kvetching over their work?

Ultimately, this comic is totally unnecessary to the main story. It adds nothing to the plot, gives no new information, and the parody is more interesting than the real thing.



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