Review: E.X.O.: The Legend of Wale Williams Vol. 1
Afrofuturism is one of those genre/subjects that has been getting a lot of love as of recent. In the latest trailer and movie stills from the upcoming movie for Black Panther, much of the world is getting to know exactly what Afrofuturism, means and what fans of Black Panther like myself have known for years. The concepts and characters that were introduced in Black Panther’s mythology showed to only an advanced view of technology but also of diversity. This is not to say that there were not some storylines that had some problems and as well as some characters that looks more like some stereotypes.
Unfortunately, not too many characters, unless it is from publishers in Africa, have been written about Afrofuturism in Africa, unless one counts the last take on the Unknown Soldier. There have been American takes on Afrofuturism like Mr. Terrific and many of the characters from the Dakota Universe. Other than these examples, this has been a scarcely explored genre, which a treasure trove of possibilities that many creators are afraid or lazy to explore. So, when I found out about E.X.O.: The Legend of Wale Williams, I was thrilled.
The reader is taken to 2025 Lagos, Nigeria, in a technologically advanced society where technology is used to commit crimes and the police are at a disadvantage against smarter criminals. This is where the reader is introduced to EXO, a superhero who questions whether he is the answer. We are given his complicated backstory, one that has echoes of tony Stark, but smarter and with a direct moral compass. Before the end of this volume, he not only has to contend to dirty politics, rising crime, a few new allies but a supervillain, that may spell doom for Exo.
Overall, a beautiful portrait of how the world, especially in Nigeria, will look in the future, and how diverse heroes can be just as good or even better than the vanilla ones the comic book world has been flooded with. The story by Roye Okupe is engaging, action packed and provides enough twists and turns. The art by Sunkanmi Akinboye thrives and delivers as many punches as the story does. Altogether, a great book that should not be missed and will have the reader tuning in for the next episode.
Story: Roye Okupe Art: Sunkanmi Akinboye
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy