Given the archetypical superheroes and supervillains we have grown to love over the years, the fandom of comics has been long awaiting a storyline involving mutants with extraordinary powers and the problems they face in a world of “normal” mortals.
Now, before you go and argue that the genre is already inundated with characters of fantastic beings and magical mutants who battle bad guys with equally disturbing powers, it should also be pointed out that many of these stories have been done over and over again. But to find something new with a more mature stance is something special that the audience truly needs.
Just released December 9, 2015, The Troop from Titan Comics is written by Noel Clarke with the artwork provided by J. Cassara. THIS is one of those new stories that the fans need. Credit should also be given to Luis Guerrero for the colors and Rona Simpson for the letters because together, this talented team has created something special.
The first issue begins with a mysterious narrator filling in a little backstory about how he and three others from various locations have come together to battle an apparent band of militant cult members out to destroy them.
What makes this story so compelling is that we do not know the true identity of our narrator. In fact, it isn’t even clear if he has any powers at all except for a knack of arriving just in time to save the day.
As for the other three main characters, their identities are just as mysterious.
The first hero we meet is from Queensland, Australia. She is the older daughter of a farmer with a large family that knows nothing about her powers until they are attacked by the wacko cult army. At this point, she turns into a rock beast (we later learn her name is Terrain), more like a gargoyle than the Thing of Fantastic Four fame, and kills the intruders with little difficulty. She is also the love interest of the narrator.
The little girl of the team does not have a name yet, though we learn that her stuffed rabbit’s name is Mr. Fitzimmons. Her powers follow her interests in reading her mother’s medical books and entail the ability to cause edemas, conjunctivitis, desanguinations, and other grotesque illnesses with the slightest touch. This skill is expressed in graphic detail as she uses her will to exact revenge against an abusive father.
With a little effort in piecing together some of the backstory, readers will learn that the young man with the ability to wield flame is named Phil Ellis, who is later referred to as Hotshot. He has an immediate charismatic charm and a chivalrous side that many fans will connect with when looking for a hero, but the other characters still remain elusive and begs for more in future issues.
Collectors may also be interested in the variant covers in lieu of the original. The “B” cover by Elena Casagrande has a much darker sinister look as the main characters who are a bit more criptic in their powers than the original cover are shrouded in blue. The “C” cover by Joshua Cassara shows a more shadowy image of romantic aspect of two characters.
Though readers get only a small glimpse into the plot of the story, we are shown just enough to want more. The violent graphics are crisp and explicit and the subject matter is definitely for the mature audience. But it is evident from the first page that The Troop is not the typical mutant story we have grown familiar with over the years, but an imaginative new experience that will draw you in and not let go.