Reviewed by: Mathan â€œAsthmaticâ€ Erhardt
Story Title: SuperZero
Written by: Kelley Puckett
Penciled & Inked by: Warren Pleece
Lettered by: Rob Leigh
Colored by: Brian Haberlin
Editor: Matt Idleson
Publisher: DC Focus/DC
Tom has a rough life. His body is plagued by disease. His limbs don’t function properly. He is a hemophiliac. He has to receive daily shots in order to stay alive. As a result of this he has an overbearing mom. Oh and perhaps worst of all; he’s in high school, which means that all of the above make him stand out like a extra appendage, in a place where all you really want to do is blend in.
Tom’s mom won’t allow him to shave, for fear of being nicked by the blade. When she drops him off at school, she reminds him, loudly, that he has to keep his watch out of his pocket so that he doesn’t miss the alarm to remind him to take his shots. Tom’s teacher harasses him for not using his right hand during the Pledge of Allegiance (his right armâ€¦â€doesn’t work.â€) As he walks down the halls of school everyone refers to him as â€œGimp,â€ and not in the cool â€œPulp Fictionâ€ sort of way either.
But then his day gets better. He meets the new girl. She’s cute and he helps walk her home. Of course in his effort to be like everyone else, he ignores his reminder to take his shots. As a result, shortly after she enters her house, he begins to hemorrhage profuse amounts of blood. He wakes up in the hospital to the haranguing of his mother, and the knowledge that she explained his condition to the new girl and her family. Tom is mortified.
After going home Tom takes a walk to the lake and daydreams about drowning himself in it. He doesn’t make that dream a reality and decides to go home. Unfortunately he steps into the path of an oncoming semi. To be continued.
Puckett has made me feel Tom’s pain. Everyone knows what it’s like to have a parent who wants to be too involved, and as a result of Tom’s condition his mom is 1,000 times worse. I felt Tom’s frustration with his teacher, (of course my frustration stemmed from teachers not knowing how to say my name.) I even understood why Tom ignored his alarm, as guys will do stupid things when it comes to women.
Puckett has set up a nice scenario and made me completely understand Tom. But I don’t really care about him. The only reason I’m coming back next issue is for the cliffhanger, not because I really want to read the book. I’m just curious as to how this is resolved. The characters are great, the story is lacking.
Pleece does a great job of making Tom look sickly. He looks terrible. All of the emotions are shown to nice effect. Tom’s mom looks as frustrated as she does scared. And Tom’s eyes scream â€œhopelessness.â€ The color scheme the Focus books have is interesting. It’s muted. I thought it was just â€œHard Timeâ€ and the scheme works well there. But here it’s sort of a distraction. Oh yeah, that hemorrhage scene is horrific.