I picked up my copy of City of Heroes #1 today from my local comic store. Given that I’d been pestering them for a little while about it, I’m sure they were glad to finally get it – at the very least, it’ll keep me off their back for another month. Now, I’m not going to give away everything, but will give a short review of the comic for those who just can’t wait or live outside the North American continent and won’t be getting it for free:

Synopsis: Apex and War Witch stumble across a plot involving zombies, robotic parts and unwilling participants. Horus crashes their party and gets in on the investigation. There is some background to Paragon City thrown in along with a number of fights. Like any good first issue, it ends in a cliffhanger.

Overall Impressions: I enjoyed it. Whilst some of it falls outside what you can actually do in CoH (eg tackling an enemy through a floor), it certainly captures the feel of Paragon City. You’ll be able to spot the villains, contacts and powers from within the game fairly easily and the backstory is nicely filled in for those who may not have read every CoH update since September 2002.

The artwork is great and certainly captures the action of CoH. Dialogue has its highs and lows, but overall is pretty good in producing both character and narrative. My biggest complaint would be that the dialogue has a few too many one-liners for the heroes to say as they hit the villains, but that’s a minor quibble. In my humble opinion, the biggest issue was with the lettering – some dialogue boxes were left with too much white space or the dialogue wasn’t centred well enough. This certainly doesn’t ruin the comic, but does leave it looking a bit rough. But hey, it’s the first issue from a new studio – I’m sure things will improve as people get used to the process of working with each other.

Overall, a great start to the series. I better go down and pester the guys at the comic shop about when the next issue is due…

The Extras: At the back of CoH #1 are the extras – some submitted by fans, others included to help fill in CoH information. There’s some zone information for Atlas Park (same as the information available on the official site), a general faq, along with some fan art, fan fiction and pictures of heroes from within the game.

The fan art shown is from Brad Rigney, Chrystal D. Martin, Scott McClung and Mike Catalano. Victor D. Lorthos gets the inaugural fan fic spot, while pictures of Havoc, Icerider, Gadgmo and Jack B. Nimble appear on the next-to-last page. Given that I’ve had contact with Mr Lorthos and teamed up with Icerider and Gadgmo in the past, it was a bit of thrill to see them!

For the CoH fan, the extras are great. As I said, I look forward to the next issue!

– UnSub [email protected] 28 May 04

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