The first issue of Emergents Presents was a great example of how the Big Two aren’t the only publishers capable of producing good superhero stories. The second issue is out now and it features three new heroes: Bookworm, Maser, and Professor Helios. What are their powers, how did they get them, and are they heroes worth investing your attention in?
This book opens with the Professor Helios story written by Stuart Moore with art by Jason Masters. I’ve spoken at length about Masters’ great work on the James Bond series years ago, and he continues to use a refined line and sharp environments to help track action. Told via a wide layout design the book has a stretched format that makes every double-page feel splashy and big. Colors by Hi-Fi do a good job with the fire powers of the characters and there are indeed a lot of fires going on in this story.
Moore keeps your interest throughout the story, features some exploits of the main character and his youth, and draws your attention to the kind of work he’s doing. The story is good at capturing the fact that this universe has superheroes that have lived for many decades and have plenty of history.
The next story is Bookworm’s, written by Eric Anthony Glover and drawn by Daniele Afferni with colors by Chris Sotomayor. Contrary to the name of the superhero, this is a fight comic in the style of Bloodsport. There’s a neat concept of Bookworm fighting alongside his journal being written into as bullies try to get to him displayed behind his fighting. There’s a nice twist that shows how it’s not all about punching and kicking to win in the end, but the story feels a bit too simple. It didn’t hold my interest all the way through.
The last story features Maser and is written by Alex Segura with art by John Amor and colors by Yenny Laud. This is a bright story, in part because Maser’s powers make him bright pink, but the overall story feels like it was torn from a Superman comic. The full origin is displayed here and while the big twist can be guessed at, it’s the kind of story that feels wholesome and traditional to superheroes. The art has a fun pop to it not unlike the early days of Invincible.
Emergents Presents #2 follows up a must-read first issue with a strong second showing of heroes. Not every story zings with as much delight as the first issue, but it’s also a fair example of how the art of the superhero origin can be re-explored forever with good effect. InterPop continues to feature great ideas and some of the best visuals you’ll see from a comics publisher so new.
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