- Writer: Ted Sikora and Milo Miller
- Artist: Benito Gallego
- Colourist: Ted Sikora
- Letters: Ted Sikora
- Publisher: Hero Tomorrow Comics
From Hero tomorrow comes Apama, a comic series that seems to blend the contemporary world with a very tongue in cheek classic style of storytelling that went out of fashion in comics after the 80s, although a lot of up and coming indie comics are finding their inspiration from time gone by. The result is a cool volume that follows a fledgling new Wolverinesque hero who’s trying to find his feet in the corrupt world he’s living in and also trying to save.
Sikora and Miller are determined to weave a new hero who manages to be relatable, fun and interesting to read about. Thankfully they manage to succeed in doing this for the most part. Their hero is Ilyia, who in the vein of Spider-Man is your typical loser who ends up imbued with great power and decides to try to do good with it. However unlike Spidey, this hero seems to be trying to take on the big things first. He tries to teach a big oil company a lesson but does so by wrecking their office. It’s a funny scene that really shows how new heroes really don’t have much of a clue as to what they’re doing when they start out. Even better Sikora and Miller create a hilarious fight scene between Apama and the villain of the week where they both show just how little they know about how to fight with super powers. It’s masterfully done and a really great touch by the writing team. They also definitely get huge props for unpredictability, it’s very difficult to find yourself bored with a series when you’ve got a man talking to his pet rat all the time and an issue starting with America deciding to bomb the moon!
The art work for the series is the kind that you have to grow into in order to enjoy. Gallego’s art in the first issue is more rough and rushed looking with an animalistic tone, which does make sense considering what Apama is going for but at first is mildly irritating. However in the subsequent issues he seems to have honed his style more and much like the writing on the book it takes on a rather classic feel, with the art work seeming almost nostalgic of the silver age of comics. At moments he does still seem to miss the mark. His expressions can be incredibly out-of-place for scenes and his fight scenes do sometimes lack a level of energy. Even when Apama is fighting his first villain (The Lawn Mower Man) there isn’t really much of a sense of urgency, although the scene is largely played for laughs, so Gallego may have been trying to reflect that in his rendering. At other moments his work on the violent scenes is right at home, such as when the creature from the moon rips through a worker in a call center. It’s exactly as grisly as you’d expect, which in this case is a good thing. Or the moment when he takes down a coke dealer, rips apart the bag of coke in weirdly majestic fashion and then throws the dealer/drug mule (it’s not clear) into a dumpster.
These first five issues of Apama are smart, funny and most important of all when it comes to comics, they remain entertaining. Whether it’s the hero fighting a man covered in blades, an alien creature or an incredibly shady priestess the story still manages to be interesting and these issues all work very well as an introductory arc to the comic. Your attention may wander from time to time but for the most part it’s a very enjoyable comic experience.
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