From Aspen Comics, David Schwartz, Pasquale Qualano, David Curiel, Josh Reed.
The latest issue of Idolized will be released this Wednesday and its by far the best one yet. Joule continues her journey through Superhero Idol and its one of the most realistic comic books I’ve ever read.
I would not be surprised to find out that Schwartz has been on a reality show himself, or is very close to someone who has. His grasp of this “instantly famous” world we live in rings with familiarity.
The reality show aspects are only part of what David does so well. In only three issues Joule has become so fleshed out that the reader can fill in blanks. We know this young woman so well that exposition becomes unnecessary. Joule has “made some mistakes” and that is all that needs to be said. What could it be? Crimes, drugs, sex? It doesn’t matter. We are all correct. The point is not to explain exactly what she did, the point is to show how those past choices will effect her on Superhero Idol. Its an amazing use of less-is-more and fans like me are drawn even further into this rich world.
Many comics have showed the flawed hero, the anti hero and more. Joule is in a different category. She is not good so much as she is driven to go against evil. Let me explain the difference. Superman does good. He saves people for no reward. Its not for money or fame. Superman acts this way because those are the values two people in Smallville taught him. Joule however has one goal. To get back at Stasis for killing her parents. That’s it. She isn’t going to rush into the burning building, nor help the little old lady across the street. The goal is to take out Stasis and everything else she does is just an obstacle in front of that goal. Sure Stasis is evil, and in turn that must make Joule “good”. But she is not (yet) a do-gooder.
You know who does do good (that is a horrible segue) the artists on this book! Pasquale has drawn a young realistic super powered girl-into-woman that hasn’t been seen in comics since the introduction of Kitty Pryde. Joule can look confident, insecure, sexy and plain from panel to panel. As good as David’s writing is, Joule wouldn’t be so wonderful without Qualano fleshing her out into this very tangible character.
The coloring is insane. Powers are not just shown, they explode off the page with such force I thought Aspen had created a true 3D comic book. Curiel colors a lot of books, but that is because he does such a great job at it. The blasts of energy aren’t just seen, they’re colored so well you can hear them.
I’ve talked about Josh Reed many times before but my respect for him continues in this issue. Josh enables this comic to flow from panel to panel and page to page. Without him all of Aspen would be lesser.
Now back to Idolized. As much as Joule is the star of the book, the amount of possible spin offs here are near infinite. The other contestants could carry their own series. Take Myth for example. A pacifist super hero. I will gladly pay for a 6 issue spin off series that gets deeper into her motivations and powers. That’s only one hero. Psychadelix is one of the coolest and most original ideas I’ve ever seen in comics. Take the photo cover idea and hire a Suicide Girl for this spin off. I would add Carter to this list too but I think something’s coming from him. Something very huge and very devastating.
Finally, lets get to the use of 9/11 in this issue. It makes total sense and it would absolutely be used in such a show. Lets look at very recent history. After the theater shooting we all heard many people say that if someone in there had a concealed weapon things would have turned out differently. I’m not running a political site here, so no debates on either side. My point is, that’s our real world. In a super hero world everyone with powers would have their own ideas of how “if I were there things would have turned out differently”. It must have been a fine line to write and draw this scene without appearing offensive and this team nailed it.
Idolized #3 is out this Wednesday in all good comic book shops. Get in line behind me!