Review: Burn The Orphanage: Born to Lose #1 (of 3) and Sidekick #1

Burn The Orphanage: Born to Lose #1 (of 3)

burnorphana01_coveraA young orphan named Rock was left for dead, now he’s out for revenge! With partners Lex and Bear by his side, our hero will find out who burned his home and family to the ground. If that means taking on every goon, punk, and topless stripper ninja in the city… then so be it. PART ONE OF THE BORN TO LOSE TRILOGY!

The idea of taking a video game and plotting it out in comic form is an intriguing one. Video games aren’t really known for their plot driven storylines, though that’s changing. While some have called this “Street Fighter vs. Hooker Ninjas,” it more feels like “Double Dragon vs. Little Plot.”

I wanted to like the comic, I love video games, but something to me is missing. That thing is a plot that has any sort of depth or interest. There’s a burnt down orphanage, and Rock was inside that orphanage and now seeks revenge. That’s the basics. The problem is, that happened so long ago, he’s still looking for revenge? It’s been what, twenty years?

The reasoning for why things happened, that doesn’t make much sense. The characters themselves are pretty paper-thin. The goal of the comic was to mimic that of a video game, and unfortunately it does that, but the worst of video games, a lack of plot and all action.

The comic reminded me of the 80s side-scroller that had a plot, but you’d only find that out a long time after you played or from reading Nintendo Power. Video games have come a long way since then. I just this comic experience did so as well.

Story: Daniel Freedman, Sina Grace Art: Sina Grace
Story: 6 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.25 Recommendation: Pass

Sidekick #1

sidekick01WITNESS A MODERN HERO’S FALL FROM GRACE! The Cowl and Flyboy: renowned superhero and sidekick despite dopey names. They were famous, popular, and happy until the Cowl’s assassination. Now, no one takes Flyboy seriously. Follow his trajectory from barely tolerated hero to figure of ridicule, and witness his slow descent into madness, darkness and crime.

We get all types of comics that promise to be the deconstruction of superheroes. They hype of the fall of some character or how they’re totally going to dig into the characters’ psyche. But it’ll be new! And gritty! That’s what I felt going into this new series from Joe’s Comics and Image.

The comic isn’t bad in any way, the problem is, in this first issue, I’ve seen it all before. There’s nothing new here to really hook me. There’s nothing new to make it stand out.

The story is decent with a lot of insight into Flyboy and where he’s at with his life and for some of it, I felt for the guy. But that was it so far, a lot of build up. That’s what you get with just a first issue too. There’s only so much you can do. I’d think this might do better as being released as graphic novels or longer issues with more time in-between. We need more to really make me get what’s new and different from the series.

While the first issue is interesting, I’ve seen the same thing done better (check out The Standard as one example). Here’s hoping the next few issues really kicks this series up a notch and make it stand out from all the rest. Because right now, it seems like the sidekick to all the other similar comics, and who wants to be a fan of the sidekick?

Story: J. Michael Straczynski Art: Tom Mandrake
Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review