Superpowers aren’t easy, as seen in the new AfterShock series There’s Something Wrong with Patrick Todd. Written by Ed Brisson with art by Gavin Guidry, the new series opens with a gun pointed directly at you and doesn’t stop testing what we think we know all along the way. It’s a realistic portrayal of supernatural power and it’s done very well.
If you had superpowers like mind control, how long before you are found out and killed? It’s something to consider and it’s something you’ll be thinking about as you read this first issue. In its opening we witness an average-looking forty-something man robbing a bank. Soon he’s leaving and handing the cash to a teenage kid named Patrick Todd. We quickly learn that money isn’t for the arcade, but to pay for his mother’s stay at a facility. He’s not bad, and if given the ability to control minds with no one to turn to for help, wouldn’t you do the same?
This first issue is perfectly paced, drawing your attention through each scene and cutting to the perfect scene to increase tensions or inform the reader of what is going on. This is a page-turner for sure and you’ll be dying to know where it goes once the story reaches its final page.
There are a few layers that weave together well in this first issue. We have Patrick Todd who seems like a good enough kid but is simply down on his luck. Then there is a cop who also seems super nice but is also thorough and open-minded enough to piece things together. Add in a mysterious villain by the end of the issue and we have ourselves enough characters to cling to and develop.
Art by Guidry is super clean and pleasing to the eye. Colors by Chris O’Halloran create good contrast, making the scenes pop. There’s very little flash when it comes to the superpowers, but when they do ignite they are scary and make Patrick Todd almost soulless. There are something quite pleasing about the sharp facial expressions and clothing set against simple, undetailed backgrounds. The rendering of a tree and some windows is aided by the clean surface of the building coming together in something that’s realistic but visually all its own.
Letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou are fabulous too. When Patrick Todd uses his powers, the word balloons take on a drop shadow, lifting them off the page. It’s a cool effect I can’t honestly remember seeing ever done. As always from Otsmane-Elhaou, tails on word balloons take on a life of their own depending on what and how something is being said.
There’s Something Wrong with Patrick Todd approaches a superpowered teenager in a unique and exciting way. It’s also taking its time with a good pace while developing its characters in a way that feels true to its characters. It handles a superpower with depth and nuance and makes you want more.
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