Ollie is a teenage boy who has Down Syndrome and who, by the innocent age of six, had endured three heart surgeries. He is also the son of The Sentinel, a super-powered hero and self-proclaimed protector of the city of Excelsior Springs. Ollie’s dream is to become a superhero just like his father!
While watching a local news broadcast concerning the Lawn & Garden Show in town, The Sentinel learns of a mysterious “Bug Man” who threatens the attendees there. He rushes off to the show and chases away the villain, but is unable to vanquish him and, thus, eliminate future threats.
Meanwhile, Ollie sees a commercial about a company called MetaMakers. Owner Alexander Valdimer explains that his firm can effectively produce super-powered beings through the science of Cytogenetics, and the process known as Metaphase…when “specific human traits can be manipulated and exaggerated” allowing researchers to “tap into extraordinary capabilities”. This seems like the answer to Ollie’s prayers…
The reader soon learns that MetaMakers is responsible for the “Bug Man” and his attack. Valdimer plans to use his research to defeat The Sentinel and replace him as the city’s savior.
With Ollie’s unwitting assistance, Valdimer nearly succeeds in destroying The Sentinel…but then, Ollie –in a strange twist of fate – discovers his own superpower…the ability to “temporarily phase matter out of existence, then bring it back with a new purpose”. He becomes Metaphase and battles Genepool (Valdimer) in an effort to save his father’s life.
I won’t give away any more “Spoilers” because I want you to read and enjoy this offbeat comic book for yourself. The writer’s whole premise of empowering this particular teenage boy is both unique and heartwarming. Just about every boy wants to grow up to be like his father…but Ollie has a greater number of challenges than most boys! The story itself is well-paced and driven primarily by the insane rantings of Alexander Valdimer/Genepool, as well as Ollie’s obsession to emulate his father.
A lot of Kelly Williams’ artwork is very simplistic, and I –personally—found some of the action sequences difficult to follow, including Ollie’s transformation into Metaphase.
The strength here is the story itself. Yes, it’s a bit sentimental, but I applaud its efforts to give handicapped youngsters a new kind of hero to believe in…someone who IS one of them!
Visit www.alternacomics.com – the Alterna Comics website – to learn more about this publication.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.