Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2007
By: Steve Saville
Creator(s): Marcus Almand
Publishers: Ronin Studios
Price: US$ 3.25
‘Razor Kid’ is a new comic title unashamedly targeted at a teenage, predominately male, audience. The comic looks great. The art work is contemporary and confidently drawn. The page layout adventurous and often dynamic. The comic is full colour throughout and the colour combinations are very effective. The art work itself is sometimes reminiscent of that presented in Dark Horse’s recent futuristic portrayal of Lone Wolf [and that is a pretty high accolade]
Basically what we have here is the sort of storyline that pushes all the right buttons to appeal to a young male readership. The main character Alex Tanaka is a boy genius, who is endeavouring to pass the demanding CAPE [Citizens Authorised for Protection and Enforcement] exam, which is quite a bit like a martial arts grading in that it requires the candidate to fight an opponent to prove his ability. But Alex has a dark secret as well as a physical disability [he has lost both of his arms]; you see what I mean about covering all the bases. Add to this mix some ‘normal’ teenage issues like family, friends, growing up etc. and you get a comic that attempts to push all the right buttons.
But does the world [or teenage boys] need another Harry Potter, Johnny Quest type character, surely we have enough. After a quick read I would have said that we don’t but on closer inspection I would have to say that yes there is a place for ‘Razor Kid’. It is the sort of comic that every school library should stock. In particular I like the way it does carry a healthy moral message without ever labouring it.
To my mind we can never have enough tales about the need to struggle against obstacles internal and external, to aim high and to be basically a good person. Yeah I know it all sounds a bit corny but they are not bad ideals.
What saves ‘Razor Kid’ from appearing preach is that Alex is a highly believable character, none more so than when he gets the results from his CAPE exam. Oh and the Wombat creature who gives his the results is a really neat little creation.
The comic opens with the CAPE exam mentioned above, this means we get a fairly long action scene to kick things off. It works because of the careful attention to page layout and the effective use of dual narrative. It is good to see the verbal elements of the scene compliment the visuals, this takes time and careful consideration to execute and to his credit Almand has managed it well. This alone is a good example of just how carefully this comic has been planned.
For me personally the real clincher though was the final scene. It is a flashback to when Alex lost his arms. It is a bleak and chilling episode and one that contrasts with the almost gentle tone that precedes it.
The brief glimpse of what is in store for readers in the next instalment looks tantalisingly good. This is a confident new title created by a self assured artist/ writer, it deserves to reach the targeted audience and they deserve to read it.
In a Word: Sharp.
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