By Will Barber – Taylor
Somewhere in suburban L.A., a freak cosmic event suddenly enables nine-year-old Lakers nut Roger Beaman with the ability to fly… but only for about a foot and a half off the ground. In the old days when those things happened the newly empowered could slink off to arctic fortresses, bat caves or newsroom closets and be “heroic” when and how they chose, or not at all – well not any more! On his maiden flight, Roger is stopped by authorities, removed from his home and forced to play side-kick to an actual super-hero who really doesn’t seem to want him around. Can things get any worse? Oh yes. Oh yes they can.
Like many super hero comics, The Actual Roger begins with the origin of our hero Roger. The story is done in a satirical vane with jokes abounding about “Fortresses of Fraternity” and in a way the first issue is rather like the animated series, The Tick. It has the same type of parody of the super hero genre as well as a general absurd look at life. Particular mirth comes during the scene when Roger learns that he can fly and his father chases after him crying that he needs a permit for something like that.
The characters of Roger, his family, friends and Magnanimo are very well crafted with Magnanimo standing out particularly well. The similarities to The Man of Steel are obvious but also cleverly done so the reader knows who Magnanimo is meant to be but it isn’t too obvious at to make the reader feel like they are being patronised.
The issue is well drawn and inked though the blank and white can at times seem a bit lacking. The cover of this issue is wonderfully bright so perhaps it would have been better to inject some of this colour into the actual comic to make it seems a bit more diverse colour wise. The text occasionally runs together though that isn’t a great distraction and seeing as the comic was made by one person it is incredible that only once or twice such things appear.
All in all, The Actual Roger Issue One is well written, drawn and interesting enough to make the reader want to read the next issue. It also does a good job of establishing the world Roger lives in and what it would be like if our world features characters similar to Batman and Superman. I would highly recommend you get the first issue of The Actual Roger as it is a brilliant comic which can easily make you chuckle.
With thanks to Hank Tucker, Alterna Comics and Comixology.