Reviewer: Mathan “Junkie for #1’s” Erhardt
Story Title: The Awakening Part One
Written by: Benjamin Raab
Penciled by: Justiniano
Inked by: Walden Wong
Lettered by: Clem Robins
Colored by: Chris Chuchry
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Publisher: DC Comics
The story begins in Shuster’s Glen, a suburb of Metropolis. It’s Graduation Day for Ulysses Adams, a Siegel High School senior. His mother goes into his room to check on him and makes a shocking discovery. She runs to her husband for support, and he witness the strange organic growth that’s overwhelming Ulysses’s bed.
Then we flash to Siegel High’s graduation ceremony where three sinister cloaked characters are searching for Ulysses, who is nowhere to be found. It turns out that Ulysses is taking a bus out of town. And despite the warm weather, Ulysses is bundled up, complete with hat and gloves.
He manages to find a seat next to a friendly girl, around his age and the two strike up a conversation. As it progresses he feels comfortable enough to shed his hat, revealing he’s undergone quite a transformation. She then displays a degree of famailarity with Ulysses that she shouldn’t have. Before he has time to adequately process that disclosure, bus suddenly crashes.
It turns out that she’s Nymph, and she’s been charged with protecting him. She’s got empathic powers, and she needs his help with rescuing the people trapped on the bus, before she is unable to keep them calm. Ulysses is surprised to find out that he has the strength to rescue the people. Before he has a chance to use it though, he’s pulled away by the trio of sinister folks from the graduation ceremony.
One of them incapacitates him in a rather gruesome manner. Before the can escape with him, Nymph’s back up arrives in the form of two other mysterious figures. A battle ensues, as we learn of the Ulysses mysterious protectors isn’t quite a person, and the other is three centuries old. After Ulysses is saved, explanations are made.
Apparently a few years ago, an alien brought an alien virus to Earth. The virus alters it’s host and create a new species. Ulysses is product of a paring of the virus and a human being. His three protectors are members of Delta Chi Delta, a fraternity of that are trying to protect human evolution from outside interference. One of their own, a man known as Paracelsus defected from the Deltas to Omega Concern. He planned on introducing the virus to take control of evolution. Ulysses is the only test to survive, and he wants the boy for study.
Ulysses decides to side with Delta Chi Delta, not to save the human race, but rather on the off chance that they could return him to normal. To be continued.
Raab has told an action packed story. The issue starts out in everyday life, and ends up in the dark shadows of covert groups controlling human destiny. It’s quite a journey and it doesn’t feel forced at all. Ulysses is completely believable. He doesn’t hook up with the Delta’s to save mankind, he does it for selfish reasons; to return to normal. In terms of the three fraternity members introduced this issue, we learned a bit about them, but just enough to make us crave for more.
Justiniano and Wong provide some amazing visuals this issue. Ulysses’ pop’s body language on page three is perfect, as is the look of fear on the bus passengers faces on page nine. The fight scenes are dynamic and the entire issue is beautifully colored (peep how Ulysses’s color has been altered, as he has.) Robins’s lettering is always stellar, from sound effects, to the announcer at the bus station. The book looks great.