Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March First Issue Madness 2 - - The Intrepids March 15, 2011

 

THE INTREPIDS #1 ( Image Comics, February 2011)  Kurtis J. Wiebe, Co-Creator, Writer.  Scott Kowalchuk, Co-Creator, Illustrator, Cover, Designer. Justin Scott, Colorist. Frank Zigarelli, Letterer.

It’s been a month of discovery for me ( even though I’m discovering books one or two months after their release dates).  Next up on my list - - and a nice surprise - - is THE INTREPIDS debut issue from Image featuring a new team of both heroes and creators. It’s not deep.  It’s not dark.  It’s not philosophical or controversial. It’s just a little bit thought-provoking.  What it is  - - is loaded with entertainment and a fresh approach to a familiar format.

THE INTREPIDS will remind you of both THE X-MEN (the original Uncanny ones) and THE DOOM PATROL (the originals again).  It calls to mind THE X-MEN much more than it does THE DOOM PATROL although readers familiar with both can find things in THE INTREPIDS to trigger the memories.

intrepids-01-cov-2x3-300dpi

One of the reasons I quit on THE X-MEN titles was because all their innocence had been taken away. Today’s core team (the major X-books, not the ones with new and younger members) have been through the mill - -  they are savvy, street smart and the exact opposite of naive and innocent. They are world-weary and have made me weary of the next major crisis, the next shocking development, the next betrayal, the next changing of allegiances, the next major, major, big impact, must read, mega-event, ultra-crossover, blah, blah, blah.  I miss the younger Charles Xavier and his young charges. Those were the days - - and they aren’t coming back.  But now I have THE INTREPIDS – and I like them because of the fun memories they have stirred up. 

According to a few sources, the first issue of this book was a runaway hit, selling out in one day.  ( I wonder how exactly that was measured (distribution level?), but it really doesn’t mater right now.)  

It’s getting a little late as I write this, and I’m getting tired  - - so I’m going to insert some publicity information here right from the Image Comics web page to give you a little more background - - -

First Issues of Carbon Grey and Intrepids Sell Out Immediately at Distribution Level and Require Second Printings

Berkeley, CA – March, 10, 2011 – Image Comics has introduced a slew of recent hits with titles like CHEW, MORNING GLORIES, SKULLKICKERS and INFINITE VACATION, and now two more will swell the ranks. A second printing of Kurtis Wiebe and Scott Kowalchuk’s THE INTREPIDS and Hoang Nguyen’s CARBON GREY are both being rushed to press to satisfy retailer and reader demand.
In THE INTREPIDS, a retro-styled band of orphans have set out to correct the threat of mad scientists under the tutelage of Dante, a genius inventor. Up and coming new writer/artist team Kurtis Wiebe and Scott Kowalchuk have provided a great cast of idealistic young heroes and pit them against such unique henchmen as cyber bears and battle baboons!


“Scott and I are thrilled to hear that THE INTREPIDS has made such an impact with readers," said Weibe. "Having the first issue sell out in one day is more than we ever expected. Thanks so much to our fans, we promise to keep THE INTREPIDS on time and packed with quality!”

“New ideas are our stock-in-trade here at Image and we've been unleashing a flurry of them since the beginning of this year,” added Image Publisher Eric Stephenson. "Both THE INTREPIDS and CARBON GREY are books we picked up during convention season last year, at Emerald City and Wondercon, respectively, and it's really gratifying not only to have them out, but to see such a positive reception for them, in just under a year."
INTREPIDS #1 Second Printing (DIAMOND), a 32 page full-color science fiction adventure comic book, will be on sale April 13, 2011 and THE INTREPIDS #2 (FEB110472) will be on sale April, 6, 2011. .

Me again. . . Welcome back.   The mission of the INTREPIDS seems to be to head off all the mad scientists around the world before their crazy schemes can see fruition.  And who better to know where the mad scientists are hiding out than the good mad scientist who is the team-builder and mentor to The Intrepids - - Dante.

Dante  (I’ve looked over the pages several times and can’t find a last name for the guy!) is a scientific prodigy, who was betrayed early in his career when his former partner and now main nemesis stole off into the night with the plans to some of Dante’s greatest bio-mechanical creations.  Now in his middle years (or later, hard to tell) Dante has been taking in abandoned orphans and given them a new opportunity.  He outfits them with various augmentations and powers and sends them out on missions to thwart those scheming mad scientists.  Rather than seem over the top or just plain silly, their story as told by writer Wiebe is fun while it entertains and enlightens you, filling in the background behind some of the events of the first issue.

Dante himself as drawn by Kowalchuk looks like a sleazy version of the distinguished late actor Vincent Price.  With several scenes of Dante rescuing his first charge, Crystal, from living in alleys and giving her instructions and counseling -  I almost expected to see him groping her or taking advantage but it doesn’t happen.  ( I guess it’s the sly way that artist Kowalchuk sneaks in some facial expressions and looks that might indicate something else was going to happen.)  This is a book you could probably introduce to a young reader new to comics.  It might get them excited about a super-hero team the same way I felt about the first X-Men when I was introduced to them. 

Crystal is a little buxom blonde on the plumpish side (I like that these characters aren’t physically perfect or fully mature and proper adults) ,  and likes to wear dresses, heels, and mink coats when she’s firing her guns and using the enhanced targeting accuracy that Dante gifted her with.  Doyle, a big lumpish man who needs corrective lenses seems overly strong.  Rose, also sporting a bit of baby fat, like the Rocketeer has enhanced powers of flight as long as she’s strapped into her back-pack. Chester is a sleaze-minded master hacker and communications expert.  Both Chester and Rose wear augmented power gloves from time to time.

That’s the line-up. They act as spies. They steal secrets.  They go on undercover missions to get info on bad scientists and run  into cyber-bears and vicious baboon guardians/security forces.  Look into THE INTREPIDS.  You may find some fun.

3 comments:

  1. I hadn't heard of this book at all, but it sounds like fun! I'll check it out.

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  2. I forgot to write more about the art - - I love the style. It reminds me of Paul Chadwick's work on CONCRETE. The dialogue between the characters is fun as well - - sarcastic and teasing, and full of innocence and optimism. I had more to say but I was getting super-tired as I was posting this last night - - and had to end.

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  3. Jeff, if you or any of the Refugees are interested, I'd be glad to loan you my copy. I'm also planning to pick up issue #2 in April.

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