First Impressions is a column where we review comic books that meet two criteria: they must be Comixology Submit titles (self-published digital books) and they must be a first issue. The comic book genre is a treasure trove of creativity even outside established publishers–you owe it to yourself to check out some of these gems. This time we’re reviewing Ungrounded.
Ungrounded is a clever twist on a superhero origin story that truly brings the old question of whether superheros create their supervillains to the forefront. The story by Patrick Gerard has a decent mix of naive heroic wishes and realism in the face of the fantastic while the art by Eryck Webb is bright and captivating. Overall the book is a fun adventure although it feels a bit light. Issue 1 is only 99 cents but it’s also only 12 pages and feels like it stops artificially–I would have loved to see more pages even for a higher cover price.
In the first issue we meet Joseph Danner, a physicist who creates a box that will transform himself into a superhero. Since this takes place in a world without superheroes, the audience full of reporters (that he was somehow able to get to attend his presentation because journalism) is skeptical at best. So into the box our hero goes where he meets Thoth, best described as Galactus going through an Ancient Egypt phase.
Thoth spouts some cryptic phrases but ultimately gives Danner the powers he imagined he would gain: control over electromagnetic energy and glowing fists to give him a leg up in the eventual reboot of The Last Dragon.
But when Danner emerges from his magic/science box he discovers the transformation took a bit longer than expected. While he believed he was in the box for a few minutes he was actually in it for six years. And during those six years the world went a little crazy. People developed superpowers, some turned into lizard people, and there’s now a giant floating city above Arizona that, somehow, Donald Trump hasn’t built a fence around.
During those six years scientists eventually figured out that maybe, just maybe, the cause of all these strange occurrences go back to the one scientist who said strange things like this were possible. And how lucky–he just came out of the magic box. So we’ll start to have some adventures and more mysteries…in issue 2 I’m hoping.
An intriguing premise that needed more pages for a complete story, but for 99 cents you can’t go wrong so this is certainly worth picking up.
Score: 8.5 out of 10 magic-particle boxes