So I am going to start my new focus on superhero fiction on Takin’ the Helm by going back to the comics. Ironic somewhat as my point of this is really to focus on superheroes in other formats, but I think True Believers is well worth the effort. Marvel has stumbled on a truly original concept with this one. The Believers are a group of high tech super-powers with a quest to expose corruption on every level. Their targets range from corporate to superhuman to celebrity, and they seem willing to go to the extremes for the exposes they then post on a their website true-believers.com (which is ironically an actual comic-related site). The concept is carried out to perfection in the first issue, one of the best number ones I’ve seen in quite some time.
Maybe the strangest fact about the book is its creative team. Cary Bates rose to fame in the 70’s and 80’s as Julie Schwartz’s right hand man on Superman and Flash both of which he wrote for somewhere around a decade. His star faded post-Crisis but he went on to produce two precursors to modern graphic storytelling: Captain Atom and New Guardians before disappearing from comics for years.
On art is Paul Gulacy. I can’t begin to list all of Gulacy’s works, although he may still be most famous for his run on Master of Kung Fu. Together these veterans of old school comics craft something truly different, truly inspired.
Bravo to both, and here is hoping for a lot more True Believers in the future.