Reviewer: Tim Stevens
Story Title: Friends and Enemies
Written by: Sean McKeever
Pencilled by: Mike Norton
Inked by: Jonathan Glapion
Colored by: Guru eFX
Lettered by: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Mackenzie Cadenhead
Publisher: Marvel Comics
As I might have mentioned before, I am a sucker for young superheroes just beginning their careers. It is, in part, the reason I’ve dug books like Ultimate Spider-Man, The New Warriors, or Kyle Rayner’s stint as Green Lantern. Yes, there is always the potential for things to go hideously awry when you are writing a “new hero” book, but by in large, I tend to find them rather delightful.
I am happy to report that, two issues in, McKeever’s Gravity fits nicely into that mold.
I don’t tend to reference covers very often, but since this one stuck out to me, I’ll start there and work inward. It does a great job of setting up the distinct size and preparedness disparity between Gravity and Rhino. Gravity, the foreground, stands, looking quizzically at the reader while Rhino towers above him from behind, grinning with malice and (probably) cracking his knuckles. It does all of this while still maintaining that “iconic image” approach that Marvel is such a fan of when it comes to their comics. See fans of covers that tell a story/iconic cover boosters? We can have it both ways if you just believe.
As a natural extension of the cover, let’s just peek the art next. I think the design on Gravity’s costume is great. It is classically simple, but distinctive and I like the slight modern touches (as in Grav’s pants aren’t skin tight, but baggy without being so much so that he looks ridiculous). Norton’s work on the villain of the book is similarly well done. The only costume design I am a bit disappointed in is that of the Greenwich Guardian. Between the color scheme and the arm gauntlets it reminds me a bit too much of both Pyro’s gear and Azrael’s (from that other universe) second “Agent of the Bat” costume. Neither costume is bad, but that does speak something of a generic-ness in this design. To give credit where credit is due, however, Norton (with the help of Glapion on inks and Guru eFX on colors, no doubt) is successful in making the suit dominant orange/red tone still capable of blending into shadows and/or being intimidating.
If his costume disappoints me, however, the character itself does not. For a split second, Guardian, the hero that Greg Willis (Gravity’s alter ego, don’t you know) has chosen to apprentice under, looks like any number of overly violent, overly ego-driven vigilantes that naÃƒÂ¯ve newbies find themselves following around. He still may very well turn out to be, but, for the moment, McKeever casts enough doubt on the subject that the result does not feel like a preordained clichÃƒÂ© moment. That’s a credit to his writing. He indicates the possibility without hammering home the point. It is a talent that is brought to bear on all the characters. Far and away my favorite of those is Frog. I can’t wait to see more of him. He, like the book, is a lot of fun.