Villainous #1 is an interesting comic. With the popularity of shows like The Boys, the timing of a story about the good/bad nature of heroes and the corruption of groups can be good or bad. It’ll most likely get compared by many. Villainous #1 is a solid debut with a direction that’s not quite as straightforward as expected.
Written by Stonie Williams, Villainous #1 follows Matilda “Rep-Tilly” Anderson, a wannabe superhero who joins the Heroes of the Coalition. Rep-Tilly is a new recruit who’s being paired with a superhero to learn the ropes and train to become one herself. Anderson is paired with Showdown an arrogant full of himself hero who’s the powerhouse of the team.
To go from there as to what really works in the comic would spoil it. We know there’s more to the heroes and villains of the story and that Rep-Tilly will be forced to make a choice between the two. We know that because it’s part of the description of the series. But, the details and where Williams takes the series is unexpected. I fully expected it to go in one direction but the steps are ramped up a bit in a way I wasn’t prepared for. It also changes up some of the aspects of where I thought the series would be going. Defying my expectations is a good thing.
Jef Sadzinski handles the art with Joana Lafuente on color and Justin Birch lettering. I like the designs of the comic which is a mix of familiar and new. There’s also a bit of comedic aspect to it that sucks a little of the seriousness from the storytelling. It could easily have gone that route. It’d then be another deconstruction of the superhero and villain dynamic and be measured by how well it knows its subjects and what it says. Or, it could have fun with this popular direction for series. Fun is something we don’t seem to find too often with it.
There’s also something fun to see what the team comes up with for the heroes. There’s a “spot the homage” at times but for the most part, the characters and designs are very unique. And, some of them by themselves get you to chuckle. You can tell everyone was having fun with things as they put in small details and tell side stories in the background or with a design.
The comic feels like it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Villainous #1 is another comic that has the basic of superheroes aren’t all that super. What makes it stand out is it comes at that concept from a direction we don’t really see too often, with humor. It’s an interesting dance the comic does and it pulls it off quite well.
If you’re tired of spandex from the big two but looking for a superhero fix, Villainous #1 might fill your needs.
Story: Stonie Williams Art: Jef Sadzinski
Color: Joana Lafuente Letterer: Justin Birch
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.4 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Mad Cave Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review