Striker Force 7 Free Comic Book Day Special
Graphic India Pte Ltd (2019)
WRITER: Merrill Hagan
ARTWORK/CHARACTER DESIGN: Jeevan J. Kang
COLORIST: Lee Loughridge
LETTERERS: Rakesh & Mahadik
CONSULTING EDITORS: Pedro Moreira Dos Santos & Diego Guarderas
EDITOR: Sharad Devarajan
SERIES CREATORS: Cristiano Ronaldo & Sharad Devarajan
Striker Force 7 keeps the existence of supervillains a secret while trying to bring them to justice, kind of like the Middleman. When a group of them escape they turn to soccer/football star Cristiano Ronaldo because the method of defeat is hitting them with a robotic orb named Orbix, who takes their powers and copies them for the hero to use…and the rest of the team kind of sucks at kicking a soccer ball. Joined by Keeper, the supergenius kid who invented Orbix and all their gear, Cristiano’s first mission is to stop Icefall and Brolossus, aided by another team member, the high-tech bat wielding Sita Shaolin. They manage to defeat Icefall but Brolossus escapes, attacking “CR7” (I guess that’s his nickname or something, I don’t follow sports) at the opening of a new “football” stadium in Miami. Cristiano, Keeper, and Orbix manage to defeat Brolossus but in front of the media…and Cristiano doesn’t make Striker Force commander Lin very happy when he just blurts out everything to a reporter.
Twitter review from FCBD: Because of course you need a football player to save the world. I don’t know football but I know stories. This was a fun superhero story with a neat new gimmick: he gets his powers from stealing them from supervillains. That’s kind of the opposite of how it usually works I like the idea. This is one I would definitely check out if I had the funds.
What they got right: A fun superhero story for kids and adults? You don’t see that too often anymore, since too many superhero creators want to target grown-ups (college age at youngest) with more cynical stories even if they aren’t being politically motivated. I love Kang’s artwork. (Save your Kang the Conqueror jokes, this isn’t a Marvel comic.) It’s straight out of a Bruce Timm cartoon, aided by Loughridge having worked on DCAU comics as colorist, but this may be some of his best work as well. The idea of a sports star turning superhero gets on some people’s nerves (mentioning Pro Stars to the wrong person may cause rage fits) but if you can embrace the silliness of the idea it’s rather neat and explained well enough. A hero that is part Middleman and part Mega Man has a lot of potential.
What they got wrong: Except that Ronaldo pretty much spills the beans, ruining the secret part so forget Middleman. He’s rather blatant and dismissive about it which honestly makes him look a bit more ego-driven than they probably intended. If you’re releasing this comic in the US you’re going to confuse most kids and a maybe a few adults calling the game “football”, especially when you set part of your action in Miami, where they would call it soccer. I’m not going to argue who is right, I’m just saying an American reporter is going to call it soccer because we have a different game called football. That should have been acknowledged even if they just put in a throwaway line about how it goes by two different names.
Recommendation: This is a really good superhero comic. I only hope the series is as good and finds a proper audience among kids and adults alike. You don’t need to be a soccer/football fan to enjoy the story, so give it a look