"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Film, Comic Books
I don’t mean the content, of course. I mean the bizarre genesis of the title. John Byrne put an offer out awhile back that, for a certain sum, he would draw a full comic book featuring whatever the purchaser wanted. You want to see, like, the Flash team-up with Ghost Rider? Byrne would draw it for you. Well, Wayne Osborne took Byrne up on his offer, only Osborne wanted Byrne to draw one of Osborne’s own creations. Osborne then shopped the book around, and IDW Publishing agreed to publish the comic, now as a six-issue mini-series! Pretty strange (and awesome), huh?
But was the issue any good?
I thought it was a decent first issue.
The artwork of the book is, by far, the draw of the comic. The old-fashioned superhero nature of the comic fits Byrne’s style perfectly, and Byrne really delivers the goods, especially with his depiction of the hero’s powers.
FX is about a young teen who is accidentally (or not so accidentally, we don’t know just yet) given strange powers that allow him to do basically anything he thinks of (sorta like a Green Lantern ring without a Green Lantern ring), such as if he pretends to fire a bazooka – he actually DOES fire a bazooka.
Or, like below, when he imagines he’s a spaceship (click on all images to enlarge)…
He and his best friend are the only ones in on the secret, and, naturally, the boy decides to become a superhero by the name of FX.
He fights this villain called Silverback, and it also allows Byrne plenty of room to cut loose, with good effect…
Overall, the issue is certainly a fun book, but it’s also pretty darn generic. There’s the girl the hero likes, and the bully who picks on the hero. Heck, if you add in the initial homemade version of a costume before the real costume at the end, FX has a decent percentage of Amazing Fantasy #15’s plot (which IS a fine plot, of course, but, well, come on now).
Also, I don’t like how the villain, Silverback, is introduced like we’re supposed to know who he is – “Oh, the zoo? That’s where Silverback is being held!” And nothing more about him. In fact, there literally is NOTHING said about Silverback, and why there’s this giant, talking gorilla bad guy. And it’s not like Osborne is against dumping exposition on us, as he isn’t – he just figured “talking gorilla, that’s enough – folks’ll get what I’m going for,” which IS true to a certain extent, but it was still disappointing.
The cliffhanger is interesting, I suppose, but also seemed pretty routine, as well.
Anyhow, if you’re in for some old-fashioned/generic fun superheroics with some strong John Byrne artwork, then FX is for you!!
That’s not enough to recommend the comic, but I will say it WAS a fun comic to read (and I really dug the art).
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