Mike Carey has been in the industry for quite some time now. Known for his work on X-Men, this Eisner Award-Nominee has brought his first original ongoing series to life and, thanks to Boom Studios, you can grab the first four issues in this all new graphic novel.
In a world without superheroes, super powered villains run rife, wreaking havoc and maiming and murdering the cops brave enough to attempt stopping them. One such cop is our protagonist Leo Winters, a father of three and a loving husband whose world is turned around in the matter of seconds. Whilst on patrol with his partner, conflict arises and a gang leaves his partner severely maimed; planting the seeds of justice and revenge into Leo Winters’ heart. Taking the responsibility of finding the perpetrators upon himself, Leo tracks two low level thugs and is given more than he bargained for.
The thugs are busy transporting a staff with the ability to grant superpowers to ordinary people, but at a price. The use of the powers puts the user at strain with each use and you have no way to determine what powers you will be given. This family man has to question his personal values. Is upholding justice using a new set of unknown super powers worth risking his life… worth risking the loss of his family? Or will he be blinded by revenge and throw caution to the wind? This makes for an emotional and thought provoking read that focuses largely on the protagonist; a read which showcases the talent of Mike Carey’s writing.
Elena Casagrande offers some great penciling when it comes to scenes involving super-villains and superheroes, but there are quite a few issues that make the art inconsistent at times. For a story that’s premise would lead you to think it is all out action, it is actually not. It is a character driven story. And for a man with three kids, Leo does not look old enough… unless he started making babies when he was twelve or something. In a way he reminded me of Terry McGinnis in some of the frames, hence him looking too young. Also the characters in this book do not look vastly different; the faces seem to be constructed using the same technique. Characters end up looking similar with minor details such as hair and eye colour setting them apart. Characters seem to feel like a crowd used in a video game; same designs different colouring. The action scenes look lovely but had it been solely focused on action maybe the art and layout could have gotten away with some of its laziness.
Suicide Risk makes for an entertaining read despite its minor flaws. It is indeed thought provoking and original; something that has been lost in between the mass of mainstream comic titles. As a series it is doing just what the title suggests; they are taking risks and pulling of some great results. Take a break from the mainstream titles and grab yourself this read. It will make you question what it means to be a hero.