The Lion Forge 2018
Written by Rodney Barnes
Illustrated by Selina Espiritu
Coloured by Kelly Fitzpatrick
Lettered by AW’s Tom Napolitano
There is nothing in this world that Quinton loves more than superheroes. But it's one thing to adorn your walls with pictures of your heroes and another thing entirely to step up to the plate and try to BE one of them. Quin's about to get a lesson in the school of hard knocks, but lucky for him, he can take a punch.
I am finding myself enjoying this a whole lot more than I thought I would. Which is saying something considering how I felt after reading the first issue as I was floored by that. I think the approach being taken to Quinton here is so incredibly good and almost kind of perfect. I like that he thinks he wants to be a superhero, that he’s invulnerable is only power so he must think what he needs to do around that. Some folks would say he’s got a power he suddenly knows how to fight etc. but that’s not right and seeing this done as it is here makes me long for the days when things happened slowly or with trial and error.
The way this book is structured is strong and well thought out and executed. The opening for example piques the curiosity, grabs hold of the readers attention makes you think. It also opens up another avenue that story line will go into eventually. One of the things that I like and am somewhat surprised by is that at first glance Lorena has nothing to do with this and the potential for someone new with some impressive resources has come along. See what I am doing, I am thinking beyond what is on the page and that is the sign of good storytelling.
Quin’s dad had me busting out laughing this issue when he saw his son’s bedroom. Teenage boys have a habit of not cleaning up their rooms so the whole thing made me laugh and think of my bedroom growing up, that my parents wouldn’t go into. I hit upon a few things earlier but I really do like the way that Quinton is approaching things here. Sure they won’t work they way he wants them too but just the fact this happening brings a sense that Rodney is writing this in a way that is approachable and relatable to. The dinner table scene was priceless.
The interiors here are rather well done too. The linework is solid and the attention to detail is extremely nice to see. That backgrounds are utilised as they are work wonders in expanding the story and honestly seeing that kind of back-splash in the kitchen or at school helps show the size and scope of the story. I only wish that there weren’t so many blank backgrounds. I don’t know who Kobra is but here’s hoping we’re going to see more of him as his outfit looks great. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows a solid eye for storytelling.
The pacing here is great it has a really nice and natural flow to it. The care that is being put into this story so that it is easily accessible to readers of any and all ages is really well done. Lion Forge continues to expand their line of superhero books and universe in ways that are smart, staggering the release of new books and not flooding the market for example. Also they introduce us to new creators who showing us that there really is room for everyone who wants to make good comics.