Title: Who Are The Wildsiderz
Story & Art: J. Scott Campbell
Story & Script: Andy Hartnell
Digital Inks: Avalon Studios
Special Color FX: Edgar Delgado
Lettering & Design: Comicraft
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Scott Dunbier
Do you miss the 90’s? Sure, we all do. I remember back in the day, collecting my AWESOME comic variant #2b of KABOOM with the silver embossed letter ‘K’ because that silver embossing made it worth more. I remember going over to one of those online web sites and filling holes in my issues of ‘COVEN’. I sat and smiled to myself because I got the Uncanny X-Men #354 Jean Grey variant cover at only a few dollars over cover price…
Oh, do I remember the 90’s. Man do I have a bunch of useless shit from the 90’s.
One thing that I did enjoy about that decade was J. Scott Campbell. Danger Girl and Gen13 were not only fun, but (for a teenager) exceptionally sexy comics. They were the closest you could get to comic porn, without going and finding the latest issue of Footlickers.
So when I saw that Campbell was doing another book that screamed, ‘MARKET ME INTO TOYS!’ I had to jump on it. I realize this means that I am now going to get into a book that will rarely see the light of day, and I should enjoy #1, because #2 will be coming out shortly after Daredevil: Father… but, I can’t be bothered with that now; look how CUTE it is!
As with many stories, we start with action. Football field, neon/holographic animals (the hook to this story) that are humans beneath facing off against another legion of neon/holographic animals. The good guys are obvious, they are the humans. We know this because they are the ones that get all the witty banter.
Three weeks ago though, they barely knew each other. Styler (The Sk8er – which, as a note, I hate the spelling of.) is a science genius by night, and a witty punk kid by day. He has helped Mirra (Halle Berry) come up with the holograph tech, and today it’s getting it’s due in front of scientists. Styler is late for school though.
Over the course of the next 15 pages or so, we are introduced to the rest of our characters, each representing a classic stereotype of both movie and comicdom. We have the sexy, but brainy Jess. The hunk, Zak (Matt Damon). The muscle, Bam (Jack Black). The diva, Kat (Charisma Carpenter?).
In there is the book’s merit and flaw all wrapped into one. By the end of issue one, the team forms. Little conflict, little reason as to why.. they just do. Why is that a merit? Because it’s simple. This book isn’t for someone who rants about the nuances of Alan Moore or someone who feels comics should surpass it’s childish origins. This book is for someone who wants action, angst, drama, and fun. Check your foofoo comic snobbery at the door.
If you were wondering why I wrote little casting call names, it’s because each of these characters look like those actors and actresses. It’s fairly uncanny and hard to miss on some of them. Even their teacher in a throwaway scene looks like Vince Schiavelli. I don’t mind it, but I could see it bugging other people that these characters are already being primed in your head with voices and real faces.
Otherwise this book is damn pretty! The action sequences are tight, and the special look of the holographic animals makes it a most excellent book to sit and admire.
Storywise, so far, there is nothing new under the sun about this book. We have smart kids doing smart things that make them into superheroes. Gen 13 though found it’s mark because the character interplay was so strong. That’s what I am going to expect out of this book. If the kids aren’t dating, messing around, cheating, and keeping secrets from each other by the end of the first arc, I’ll feel disappointed.
What is going to hold this book is the new spin on abilities which look amazing. Even if the story sucked, I’d probably continue on for the dynamic holograph design, and I NEVER stick around with a book solely because of the art. I learned my lesson about that in the 90’s.