Emergents Presents #1 is a new anthology comic featuring a new universe of super-powered beings, and it’s available digitally right now on InterPop’s website. (Curious fans can read our preview.) The comic will be released for free over three weeks, with each issue serving as a chapter: The Abyss (available to read for free 9/8), followed by The Accelerant (available to read for free 9/1), and finally The Southside Sentry (available to read for free 8/25). Running 25 pages long — many of which are actually double page-wide — this is a compelling start for a new universe of superheroes known as Emergents.
The book is broken into three unconnected parts. It book opens with the story “The Last Sentry” introducing The Southside Sentry written by Sholly Fisch with art by Freddie E. Williams II. You’ll immediately note the excellent pencils by Williams, who is known for his incredible work on Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Sentry is a reluctant sort of hero who has lost his family due to the state he’s now in, which came with his powers. He’s a Hulk-level force with glowing bits of armor that helps protect the docks.
Fisch does a good job getting across the character’s downtrodden vibe, but heroic heart. There’s also an interesting gangster type of villain with a modern twist that’s intriguing. This story is basically a single-action sequence, but it gets enough across to make you want more.
Williams is backed up by Alex Sinclair on colors and Pat Brosseau on letters. All together they do a great job stretching the art across what is nearly a double page layout for each page. The glow of Southside Sentry’s eyes and other bits shine through well to give him an Iron Man-meets-magic sort of look. Williams’ lines are a touch rougher than in previous works, but that gives the story a grungy edge.
Next up is The Accelerant in “Why She Runs” written by Christy Marx and art by Scott Kolins with colors by Steve Buccellato. You’ll immediately get a YA vibe from the story with its brighter colors and simpler pencils. The use of the double-page layout format is well done, with interesting layout choices. Paired with letterer Rob Leigh, there are some smart word balloon choices throughout that help draw your eye across the page.
This story introduces Accelerant as a character who younger readers will relate to as she competes with another speedster. She has a flame-related speed power and a problematic brother who can shoot flames from his arms, which sets up an intriguing problem for the hero. Also introduced is Accelerant’s slightly crotchety professor, who is testing out her speed at the start of the story. There’s enough here to be interested in this character’s general hopes and worries, too.
Marx introduces the dynamic between Accelerant and her rival Monifa well and by the end you’ll be interested to see where this character goes from here.
There’s a bit of a head-scratcher in regards to her brother’s actions seemingly being ignored at the end, but aside from that, it has a unique younger-reader feel compared to the first story.
Last but not least is The Abyss in “Shadows” written by John Rozum with art by Cliff Richards and colors by Chris Sotomayor. This is an edgier sort of vigilante hero that’s like a cross between Moon Knight and Cloak from Marvel Comics. Rozum does a good job establishing his unique nature through strong captions. Richards draws the character well, which is defined by the shadows in his red cloak and the bright red from Sotomayor’s colors.
The coolest thing about this story is how it reveals not one but two major supervillains that are quite unique. The story starts with The Abyss captured, but quickly, he’s free through the use of shadows. Soon, though, he’s facing off against a villain who uses some unique bullets that may remind you of something Shadowman might pull off and then a strongman type villain with a clever power involving a shield. There are some nifty sound effects by letterer Carlos M. Mangual as well as some cool textual supervillain name reveals in the captions.
Considering how many superhero comics there are to choose from across publishers, I was blown away by what Emergents Presents #1 has to offer. Of course, once you see the creators involved in each project it should be clear we’re reading some impressive stories by creators who have been in the business for some time. Emergents Presents #1 is a great start for a new superhero universe, with each story showing why their heroes matter and why you should care. It’s exciting, eclectic, and laced with irresistibly interesting superheroes.
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