With DC’s New 52 promising to take up most of the comic news and reviews for September, this August the Cedar Rapids Comic Examiner will take a look at some of the comics available in Eastern Iowa from the other member of comic’s Big Two, Marvel.
Robbie Baldwin has always been a personal favorite of this Examiner. A solid character with strong roots created by Steve Ditko and Roger Stern, he had a lot of upside to him. Despite the fact that Speedball only lasted 10 issues, he became a perennial and much loved member of the New Warriors.
That ended with Civil War, when the fun-loving Speedball and his New Warriors compatriots accidentally involved himself in the death of 612 people in Stamford, Connecticut during a battle with Nitro. He soon became the angst-ridden Penance and joined the new Thunderbolts.
Robbie goes solo in Penance: Relentless and starts on a well-planned meticulous quest that involves the Thunderbolts, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four and Wolverine. He goes rogue from his team with one mission: find Nitro and enact his revenge.
Writer Paul Jenkins knows how to get in to Penance’s head without ever turning him in to the narrator or using thought balloons. He builds a mystery out of Robbie’s motivations that plays out as we learn more over the five chapters of the story. Paul Gulacy’s clean lines bring it all to life in gorgeous detail.
Together it makes for a good read, though one perhaps too dark for some reader’s sensibilities.
Penance: Relentlessis available in limited supply wherever comic collections are for sale or order, including Alter Ego in Marion and Barnes & Noble on Collins Road in Cedar Rapids, or of course at Amazon.com.
Stay tuned for reviews of the beginning of the new DC 52 tomorrow!