Sean McKeever & Emma Rios
Nomad: Girl Without a World by writer Sean McKeever already, which hadn't really met my expectations, so I wasn't too excited to read Firestar any longer. I'm really glad I did though. It doesn't have that same Marvel Adventures all-ages feel to it that Nomad and other books from McKeever like Sentinel has that make me feel like it's being dumbed down a bit for the audience (not all all-ages books feel like that, mind you. His just feel...scrubbed clean, too forced into a G rating or something). In Firestar #1, McKeever makes Angelica Jones a real three-dimensional character instead of the broad characterization that he usually grafts to rather flat protagonists. He works with some pretty intense, complicated issues with a subtlety and light touch that seems genuine and very effective for the type of story he's telling here. Jones has a lot of issues in her past, and her current life isn't slowing down all that much to give her time to reflect on what's come before. On top of Angelica's insecurity about what she's doing with her life, her father drops a bombshell by beginning to date the mother of a girl that used to be awful to her in high school who has issues of her own. But between all of the drama, Firestar manages to get a good amount of costume-time in, keeping things just as exciting in the action department as in the drama. Along with a pretty compelling self-contained story, I was completely blindsided by Emma Rios. I've never heard of her before, but her art is amazing here. It's cartoony with a lot of movement, and always manages to look very rich and elegant. I love many of the poses she chooses for Firestar, especially when flying through the air in her bright red and yellow costume. She's definitely a talent to watch. Together, McKeever and Rios make this book an unstoppable force. And next month, Firestar will be seen in a new ongoing series by McKeever (and David Baldeon), Young Allies, which sees Firestar join forces with the likes of Nomad, Arana and Gravity, so this comic is a good excuse to get acquainted with the character.