Things come full circle for high school superhero Oliver Leif as he goes toe to toe with his hypno-psychotic social studies teacher Mr. Marquez in E-Ratic #5. But while the initial setup of the issue is decent the story itself runs into a few bumps in the road. Ultimately, is it worth reading? Yes and no.
While the E-Ratic series has been entertaining, for the most part, its ending falls a bit flat. The biggest reason being Marquez and Oliver don’t have any type of buildup to their encounter. Since the first issue, they’ve been on two separate paths — Marquez has been brainwashing half the school population since discovering his hypnosis powers and Oliver has been trying to control his abilities and save his fake girlfriend, Kristen.
I would have like to see more of a solid conflict of interest between them. There’s been no stakes or vendettas that connect them personally. Every comic book reader knows that the balance of good and evil in any story works when there’s a 50/50 relationship between the villain and the hero. Think of Spider-Man and Green Goblin, Goku and Frieza, and countless other examples. Despite this, the book still manages to deliver an engaging and enjoyable close to the first volume.
The art remains as awesome as it did in the previous issues. We get to see E-Ratic in a lot more action sequences too. It could have used fewer word bubbles in small panels to distract from the artwork, but kudos to Kaare Andrews for bringing all these great characters to life and hopefully we get to have many more adventures with them.
E-Ratic #5 has its problems, but it still works as an effective and enjoyable superhero series. The characters are fun. Oliver Leif is a good protagonist and I await his next journey into adolescence.
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