Basketball movies are a dime a dozen. One of the most recent movies which has been getting a buzz is The Wayback. It’s a movie about an alcoholic coach and his struggle to balance life and basketball, without losing at both. The movie has less do with basketball, and more to do with Ben Affleck’s character, which is also why so many people love it. The one movie before that was the basketball comedy, Uncle Drew. It was not really funny and not really fun but a valiant effort nonetheless.
One of my favorite movies period, and yes it is a movie about basketball, was Above The Rim. The movie starred the late Tupac Shakur, the late Bernie Mac, Duane Martin, and Leon. I can for sure say it was definitely a 90s movie but it also spoke volumes to those of us who loved the sport. It showed the promise of tomorrow and the shadows of that promise when your day has come and gone. In the debut chapter of Degeneratez, we get one such protagonist whose love for the game not only lifts the young men he coaches but also a city.
We’re taken to the city of New Angeles where one young man’s friend gets caught up as a drug dealer whose future is uncertain if he falls trap to what his city offers. Enter Luther O’Nealle, a once-popular basketball player, who is semi-retired and has returned home in hopes of becoming ordinary and who just has been hired as the basketball coach for the local high school St.James High. As he sits down with the principal before his first day on the job he soon finds out the school is filled with delinquent children, some who may be his players. He also senses there’s something that is not being told about the position. By issue’s end, Luther gets more than he bargains for and a fatal end may have come for one of his players.
Overall, an excellent debut chapter of this intriguing story which is about as second chances as it is about the promise of tomorrow. The story by Johnny O’Bryant and Abraham Cuzner is well characterized and absorbing. The art by Sebas Riera is gorgeous. Altogether, a story that is relevant and is a throwback to those excellent basketball movies.
Story: Johnny O’Bryant and Abraham Cuzner Art: Sebas Riera
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy