Review: Elasticator #1

stk697740Being an indie comic superhero story is a unique sort of challenge, between carving a space in the comics market and standing out from the plethora of existing superheroes. Elasticator #1, however, stands up to the challenge with an intriguing story by A.C. Medina and expressive art by Kevin Shah.

Elasticator begins with the title character’s arrest. Mikey Mazzagatti is a skinny, sarcastic young man, whose actions, by his own admission, have gone due south. The rest of the issue bounces between the past and present, developing the background story with a particular focus on establishing Mikey’s unhappy childhood as well as the setting.

Brooklyn is essential to the story. The setting is not the trendy hipster Brooklyn that has been made popular and remade by gentrification, but a much less idyllic Brooklyn that serves as a backdrop for a number of crimes. With such a significant amount of time spent developing the setting, it’s clear Mikey is deeply connected to Brooklyn despite his initial unwillingness to move there as a child.

Many mainstream superhero books lack deeper themes, or ones that explore the issues associated with actual effects things like drug crimes and gentrification have on the communities in which they occur. While Elasticator doesn’t need deep reflection of sociopolitical issues to remain entertaining, it will be interesting to see where Medina takes the plot next and if he elaborates after mentioning these things in the pilot issue.

Another successful aspect of Elasticator is the art. Kevin Shah’s illustration is clean and expressive, slightly exaggerated in a way that would lend itself to animation. While the story is leaning in a darker direction, the art doesn’t follow. It is, at times, quite violent, but the brighter color palette and body language of the characters fit with Mikey’s sarcastic narration. The art is fun to look at and keeps the tone of the story away from grim and dark, another thing that sets it apart from many of the mainstream hero stories.

So far, it’s unclear what Mikey’s powers are. The brief moment in which Mikey gets in a fight isn’t him dressed as a superhero, even though he’s been beaten quite badly by the time he’s arrested. The story is pretty well-paced, mostly focused on exhibition but with enough forward progress that it sets the gears in motion for the larger story.

Story: A.C. Medina Art: Kevin Shah
Story: 7.8
Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Read

Scout Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review