Captain Ultimate #1
Monkeybrain Comics (posted to comiXology July 18 2013)
“The Day The Giant Robot Octopus Alien Monster Attacked The City”
WRITERS/CO-CREATORS: Benjamin Bailey & Joey Esposito
COLORIST: Ed Ryzowski
LETTERER: Adam O. Pruett
Ever since the aspirational hero Captain Ultimate disappeared the world has forgotten about him and new, grimdark vigilantes now protect the city. However, a boy named Milo grew up on the stories his father told of the hero and thinks he’s the coolest, even if the local bullies would rather imitate the grimdarks like the Super Revenging Society. When the titular Cthulhu like space mechanoid starts attacking, Milo even saves one of those bullies and stands up to the monster. Lucky for him this is when Captain Ultimate returns and takes the thing down. Earth’s hero is back! But where did he go?
What they got right: The back of the comic (or for me the digital equivalent) goes into why the creators made the comic, starting out as possibly being another revitalization of a public domain hero but without the grim and gritty remake they usually get. Then then decided it would be better to create one to show it could be done. Going by the first issue I’d say they’re off to a good start. I like the concept of a classic heroic hero coming back to a world where the darker hero archetypes have taken hold. It’s a light-hearted fun story and I liked it. The coloring is bright, the art style is fun, and it was just a good read.
What they got wrong: Personal preference here, but the U on the weightlifter belt and lack of cape doesn’t work for me personally. Why do modern superhero creators hate capes? Even Edna Mode can be wrong, modern costume designers! On a more critical level the grimdark heroes are written like cowards which I don’t think is fair to that brand of heroes. You can make a commentary about the darker nature of heroes in a post-Watchmen superhero genre without making them look like total losers.
Recommendation: A good start and hopefully at some point I’ll get to read more. Unfortunately the series seems to no longer be up on comiXology and I only have this one because I already got it when it was free. (So if the link at the start of the article doesn’t work you know why.) It is one to look for if you’ve gotten tired of the dark and gritty superhero and want something closer to the Golden or Bronze Age heroes. (Having grown up with the Bronze Age I know I do.
UPDATE: On Twitter co-creator and co-writer Joey Esposito said it was still on comiXology. A quick search found it under a new publisher, Soup Dad Comics. So check it out if you can.