Sunday, 14 April 2013

Shadows of the Fallen: Alter Atom #1 Review

Shadows of the Fallen: Alter Atom #1 sees the debut of not only Meddling Media's third hero, but also their third writer in Kyle Colquhoun. The issue serves mainly as an origin story of the titular character, but also sets up new elements in Meddling Media's universe - most notably the the corrupt, experimental company Sol Sage. This is another solid issue in Meddling Media's line-up that you should definitely read, however it isn't their best offering and I still feel they have room to improve.

The story is a classic origin tale of a hero getting his powers, and experiencing some form of defeat that aspires him to be the best hero he can be. It's nothing the world hasn't seen before, but that doesn't keep it from being entertaining. What also helps keep this issue interesting is the character of Alter Atom (also known as Louis), has a lot of potential to grow, especially after the events of the final pages. He's one of the most interesting characters Meddling Media has put forward yet, and his connections to the company Sol Sage could also create some serious problems going forward which I look forward to reading about.

However, aside from Louis some of the other characters did seem a little cliché. There was the evil head scientist who is intent on nothing but testing out his experiments on people. The assistant who tries not to show it, but secretly knows what they're doing is wrong; these are characters we've seen before in numerous settings. That's not to say they can't be great characters once they have been developed more, after all, this is only the first issue in this series. However, at this point these characters do feel a little bland.

On the art side of things Alex Piccirillo puts some more good work forward, with some panels genuinely really impressing me. Piccirillo seems to work best with facial expressions and body language which are always very clear, something that can be hard to get right with some artists in the industry constantly putting the same facial expression on everyone's faces.
Where Piccirillo's art occasionally falters is when he has to draw full body shots. Sometimes arms and legs can look misshapen or disproportionate, which is something to be improved upon in the future. But, overall I'd say this is another nice-looking web comic with the issues not quite frequent enough to be a big problem.


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