In the new super hero universe established in ‘Danger Club’ #1, the world’s super heroes ventured into space three months ago to battle an omega level threat. They never returned. In that time, teen god Apollo, apparently the Apollo from Greek myth (he’s also “The Superboy” here), has appointed himself the leader of the remaining super beings on the planet, all teen sidekicks. He has these heroes and wannabes duke it out in gladiator style matches, held in sports stadiums, to determine who among them is worthy of standing beside him and his team, The New Olympians. His former allies, the Danger Club stand opposed to him. They are Kid Vigilante (“The Robin”), The Magician, Fearless and Yoshimi, who pilots the mecha Robot 9.
Yoshimi has a special mission, on the moon, which is alluded to in the opening splash page, which resembles an old fashioned comic book adventure. The other three go to disrupt Apollo’s games. One character, Vesuvius, has beaten an opponent and Apollo addresses the other assembled teen heroes, asking them to follow and worship him. Kid Vigilante, who has no powers, confronts him and they battle. Obviously, things don’t go so well for Kid Vigilante. Meanwhile Fearless and The Magician battle The New Olympians. The other assembled heroes appear to just stand there, observing.
Yoshimi arrives and dispatches Robot 9 to assist Fearless and The Magician, while she delivers a “secret weapon” to Kid Vigilante, which helps him defeat Apollo. He then chastises the other heroes for losing sight of their mentors’ goal. “Whatever they were fighting… It’s still coming to Earth,” he states. He then tells them he and his team are in charge. They depart. Apollo implores the heroes to obey him, but they ignore him and depart.
This is a dark book, but I liked it. The art is particularly nice, in that these actually looked like kids. They were all skinny and gangly. Too often, teen heroes just look like shorter adult characters with bulging muscles. These kids have muscles, but they are more realistically proportioned. The art definitely has an Image vibe to it, in that it’s stylized and slightly anime-inspired. It fits and works very well.
The concept of teen heroes being the last line of defense after the defeat of every adult hero is interesting. I’m not sure this is the first time this has been explored, but I can’t think of another example. This issue feels a bit like coming in in the middle of a story. We get that these heroes have a past with Apollo, but not much beyond that. The New Olympians aren’t named or explained at all, so their battle with Fearless and The Magician doesn’t quite pack the punch I think it could have otherwise. The character designs are fun, though and unlike a lot of times when a bunch of characters are created from scratch, they aren’t homogenous. Every character looks like they could have been designed by a different artist, which is how they ought to look. It’s pretty brutal and graphic, but it works.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. There were some unanswered questions, but that just makes me want to read further to learn more.
DANGER CLUB #1
Script by Landry Q. Walker
Art and Cover by Eric Jones