Leaders of the Free World #1
Writing - 7/10
Art - 5/10
Overall - 6/10
User Review( votes)
Writer: Corey “Task” Pruitt
Artist: Eli Johnson
Colorist: Ross Hughes
Letterer: Toben Racicot
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: Leaders if the Free World
Leaders of the Free World shows us an Earth where people with powers are regulated. They must stay in their own countries or face harsh penalties. What happens when 6 heroes decide not to follow the rules?
Leaders of the Free World
Leaders of the Free World #1 drops us into a future world Earth where five super-powered beings known as the “Godsend” once came to Earth. They brought great power and innovation to the world. It wasn’t long before people started to become “powered”. With that came violence and destruction. Now after a disastrous event, laws have been put into place to regulate powered individuals. Boarders are put up and the world is on edge. When an event happens that brings six powerful individuals together and laws must be broken for the good of the world!
Corey Pruitt dives the reader right into a new team superhero book in Leaders of the Free World #1. We learn most about this new world from Cong Li. A Chinese-American teenager who loves nothing more than hip-hop and pro wrestling, oh and he happens to be the newest incarnation of the fabled Monkey King from Chinese folklore. This works out pretty well as a storytelling devise as Li gives us a quick history lesson of this world and what is going on. It’s not perfect but it gets everything said and done in a page or two. Pruitt has a heavy task of introducing the reader to a whole new world and characters and he does a solid job in this first issue.
Pruitt does a great job in setting the characters up in Leaders of the Free World #1. Cong Li gets the most time and development, but he does a swell job of getting general aspects of other characters across in a few pages. I do wish the “gravitas” of the situation felt a little higher. I feel like the characters say what a big deal it is to use their powers outside of their country, but while reading the story it doesn’t have that impact on me as a reader. Toward the end, I do feel a little scripting issue that had me as a reader a little confused of what was happening.
Probably the best thing about Leaders of the Free World #1 from a writing standpoint is all these new characters. We are only introduced to a few members of the eventual team but they are great. Pruitt gives each one an individual personality. The characters have a great sense of “self” in that everyone feels different and like an individual. The team is broken down pretty good on their Kickstarter page if you want more information about them.
The art was a weird one for me in Leaders of the Free World #1. I wasn’t really digging Eli Johnson’s work on the first few pages. The line work felt a little sloppy. The detail work on characters hands and fingers needs a lot of work and the faces looked a little funky. There were also some shots that needed a lot more detail or different angles. So, I wasn’t really feeling the art until a spectacular splash page of a giant octopus attack. It legitimately almost looks like a different artist from that page on!
Johnson shows a wonderful eye for detail. The nice overhead perspective shot shows a great city landscape. His ink lines show off some great little character details. It also seems from here on that Johnson has a little bit more confidence. His panel layout and structure has a little bit more “energy’ to them. It makes the rest of the issue a nice visual treat!
I enjoyed Ross Hughes coloring work as well. Solid coloring throughout the issue. Hughes adds in some spectacular “glowing” like effects in the issue that look fantastic. A very important lesson you can learn from Leaders of the Free World #1 that if you are at all interested in making your own comic books is that they got a legit letterer in Toben Racicot. Lettering is a thing most people don’t notice unless it is bad. I can’t tell you how many “indie” books I read that completely ignore lettering and it destroys an otherwise good issue.
In all clarity, I did back Leaders of the Free World #1 on Kickstarter. I followed the creators on twitter so I had a little knowledge and knew how serious they were about the project. The team had a bold task ahead of them building a whole new word and a big cast of characters. Look, it is not perfect there are some art and story issues that need to be tightened up but all in all, it is a solid fun start to a new comic book series and a new world.
These new characters are extremely interesting and have some fantastic designs. I got the same feeling I talked about in my The Avengers #14 review last week when I saw the “Legion of the Unliving” when I first saw the group shot of Leaders of the Free World. The characters just have that enticing look that makes me want to know more about them. They also have a great group of creators who are just starting out and for a first go at it, this is an incredible piece of work!
Right now if you did not back the Kickstarter you can’t get Leaders of the Free World #1. The team does plan to release it digitally and maybe also some physical copies. Follow them on twitter Eli Johnson (@ArtByAtlas0), Corey “TASK” Pruitt (@UpToTASK), Ross Hughes (@HughesColoring), Toben Racicot (@TobenRacicot) to keep up to date. Corey Pruitt is also a solid guy to follow with some deep comic knowledge. So I would follow him just for knowledge.
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