If you don’t know him, The Avenger is a character created long ago in an era of no social media or cell phones. How anyone lived back then is hard to understand! But the guy is still cool today. He is a driven machine of justice, and who doesn’t want that around the house on the weekend?
He’s not an overly muscled superhero, which is a nice change of pace. Average height and weight, but still commands respect when he walks into a room. Who wouldn’t like that?
He can mold his face like clay to be the ultimate master of disguise, just like you do. His no-expression face and glacial eyes really set his look apart from any other hero. Still, there is something appealing about a man who suffered a tragedy (partially of his own doing) and can’t quite overcome it. His looming sense of loneliness makes an interesting companion to his thirst for justice for the innocent. He doesn’t want anyone else to suffer, like he did (does), at the hands of criminals.
Well, Kyle [Higgins, co-writer] and I wanted to set the tone of the book right from the get go. Alex [Shibao, artist] did a great job of capturing the NOIR opening, just fractured pieces of a scene. The Avenger in up the creek without a paddle! We don’t tell anyone why or where. We just let it hit you in the face and see what happens.
This quick reveal, which you will have to read, really plays against type for the Avenger. We did that on purpose, as we need to place the hero in an unusual position.
Plus this page is showcasing the “look” Alex has created for the Avenger. It’s a more modernistic take with the longer hair and the stubble. Plus it gives us the real dark stare of the Avenger…it’s a go-to look for a man who always is intense…not a super power, per se…but sure looks kick ass!
On this page we jump right into one of the Avenger’s most unusual abilities. A casual reader might not pick it up until later though. Apparently a good slap to the kisser is a proper questioning tactic. I mean the white hair and white face really freak people out, and some people just act out!
Ah yes, the Justice Inc crew and their HQ. I gotta give Alex some props here, as drawing and maintaining SIX supporting cast members, where there are no costumes or anything to make the characters obviously distinct, is quite a task.
What I have always liked about Justice Inc is that each member has their own personality and skills. They were recruited by the Avenger, so they ain’t stupid. Kyle and I really set it as a goal to try to give them all real story stuff to do.
Props to Kyle for not giving in to the “OMG, we have SIX supporting cast members we need to do something. Screw this!” mentality…
This page serves as the gang’s intro to what’s up with the boss and shows how much they all care for each other. Yeah, I know, you’re getting a cavity just reading that!
PAGE SIX & SEVEN
The Avenger’s face is like hard clay. He can mold it, like I said at the very top of this. So, if someone hits him in the face, the impression of that fist (or hand) will be indented into his face.
This is not easy to draw, nor is it easy to explain without having a cool face of clay to demonstrate. So thanks to Alex for working at this scene!
Plus we focus in a little bit on the relationship of two law enforcement characters.
Here again we are letting the reader know how things normally operate at Justice Inc. The Avenger is not a man interested in sharing feelings.
First we get to see a little of the independent streak of Nellie.
Then, the stakes get ratcheted up, as arriving to the home of the victim brings unexpected action.
This scene lays down the basic framework for how the Avenger is in this predicament. Alex does a good job with a different technique to draw photographs within the scene. Well done!
We like to choreograph our action scenes. We want them to make sense.
There needs to be a reason why it happens.
Plus there needs to be consequences, like any good reality check.
Plus there’s an odd question posed here that the characters are too busy to wrap their heads around.
This sequence ends the big action scenario. There is a defining character moment for Rosabel that reverberates throughout the whole series. We show off her skill, but then something that never happens, happens. This moment is then tied together with our themes of trust and the definition of justice. Alex shows some nice emotions with our cast here, with expressions, and more impressively, body language.
This is like the coup de grace…a piece of information is introduced that seems impossible, but yet is true. It doesn’t look good for the Avenger, as he seems surprised, which rarely happens, as he is usually 10 steps ahead of everyone else. That’s probably an annoying personality feature at a party, but makes for a good hero.
Now its surprise time for the members of Justice Inc, as they find out it won’t be business as usual, coming back to their HQ after the crazy melee.
Here we take a peak inside the home of one of our law enforcement guys. All is an emotional roller coaster, like a messy life can be.
We can’t end this issue without a dramatic shot of the Avenger, which leaves us wondering how he is going to extricate himself out of this mess, as well as what are the underlying reasons why it’s happening at all.