Review: The Phalanx
2022 marks 30 years since Image Comics launched and the publisher is celebrating with a lot of releases that look at the past and celebrates its future. One of those releases is The Phalanx, a comic from Jonathan Luna that’s a bit of an homage to the early years of Image.
I remember when Image launched all those years ago. I was just entering my teenage years and the idea of these rockstars of creators breaking off and doing their own thing, how newsworthy it was. I also remember diving into Youngblood, Spawn, Savage Dragon, WildC.A.T.s, and more and generally being disappointed and at times confused. The art was there. The concepts were there. The stories… were present but often times disjointed and outright incomprehensible. Then there were the delays…
Luna takes us back to that time in tone and look with an interesting story of time travel and a hero team that’d have fit right into that launch era. In The Phalanx, Spur, a mercenary in modern-day Los Angeles, chases a mysterious villain and finds herself going through a portal and running into a famous superhero team. There’s something to the comic and at times it nails the era it’s an homage to, but overall, the comic hits some of the issues that those early Image comics had. And maybe that’s part of the point.
There’s a rough narrative, dialogue, and at times art to Luna’s comic. It absolutely nails down the feel of some of those early releases which is kind of the point of it. When it comes to that aspect, the comic nails it all and deserves a 10. But, the story itself is a bit meh and art at times feels like it skips a panel (which was a thing with early Image releases). The comic at times feels more like Michel Fiffe’s Copra than Image. Copra itself began as an homage to superhero comics like the Suicide Squad and since then has spun out to its own thing.
The Phalanx isn’t bad at all and for those that have fond memories of early Image, you’ll probably enjoy it. It plays its concept as both a goof and serious at the same time, never quite deciding where it wants to land. The result is a comic that lands in this odd spot of nostalgia and commentary. It works though in a lot of ways and what you think after is likely going to really depend on how you go into it.
Story: Jonathan Luna Art: Jonathan Luna Letterer: Jonathan Luna
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review