Writer: Anthony Ruttgaizer
Art: Marco Renna
Colors: Fred C Stresing
Letterer: Fred C Stresing
Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT (June 2016)
Jake deals with the aftermath of Actionverse and being home after so many revelations about his powers. As Jake tries to controls his powers, we finally meet the man watching him in the first two story arc who goes by the name Catalogue. But is he friend or foe?
Meanwhile, a woman had her daughter seemingly take control of people and make them commit heinous acts. Yet, it is unclear as if the girl is just following orders or revels in the destruction she creates.
Renna isn’t a stranger to Jake, but he really flexes his artistic muscles a bit more here. His panel work is good, with clean lines and giving some great detail. Renna gives Jake this kind of presence that you can tell that Jake is a bit more confident because of his experience during Actionverse and translates it well. Renna takes time to really give his characters detail that really makes them stand out. People are not just with a simple few lines and there’s a face that you see copied over for everyone. Renna creates faces that are young and old, allowing angles and lines really create a distinctive look for everyone. Renna makes Jake Roth heart throb material with his athletic look. Stresing continues to experiment with colors, allowing the tones to either be vibrant in more lighter settings and scenes while muting them and making them darker for the more gritty moments. They do a good job in tandem to create a world for Jake.
Ruttgaizer continues to bring more character and intrigue to the story of Jake Roth. It is clear that Ruttgaizer is positioning Jake for some great destiny and that it is going to be coming soon. With each story, there is this underlining sense that something huge is coming in Jake’s future and it will change a great many things. With that, Ruttgaizer starts to show his hand … a little bit. We get a little low down on Catalogue, which ends up leaving more questions than answers, but in a good way. Readers feel more invested after seeing the character in the background so long, they want to know what’s the real deal with him. Ruttgaizer definitely strings together a well paced first issue, allowing readers to understand the new threat before them and seeing how Jake has grown from the earlier issues of the series as well as the aftermath of Actionverse. This development for Jake is great because it makes him compelling because he doesn’t know all his powers and is still learning. Meanwhile, Ruttgaizer weaves our villainesses well as we got a very brutal introduction to both of them. The powers are relatable for readers to follow and the characters are compelling, despite their evil deeds. Ruttgaizer hints at our big bads as more than meets the eye, setting up not only this arc but their character arcs as well. Really superb work for Ruttgaizer.
There are a couple of panels where the faces seemed a bit off. It could just be the perspective, but a couple of times, it seemed like character faces were a bit too …off center with the rest of the body. Yet, this is the only real gripe I had for the issue.
The Moment of the Issue:
A splendid tribute to “Code Geass” episode 1’s ending.
The F1rst Hero: Wednesday’s Child #1 sets up a lot with so little pages. We get to return to Philadelphia with a more confident, but still inexperienced Jake Roth who is now working hard to learn his abilities. There’s multiple subplots going on, our villains, the ETF and Catalogue all juggled with care. Pacing was excellent with nothing going too long or too short. The art was pretty good, despite some faces didn’t look as if they fit with their bodies. Still, the colors were good and Renna’s line work was certainly wonderful. We open this arc with just the hint of changes and challenges to come and our team makes them look interesting. With some solid panel work and some riveting store that advances all the characters, The F1rst Hero: Wednesday’s Child builds on the past while making its own distinct path to Jake Roth’s future.