Words by: Patrick Kindlon
Art by: Marco Ferrari
Letters by: Jim Campbell
Edited by: James Hepplewhite
Production Design by: Erika Schnatz
A hero behind bars, a prince with an agenda, a witch prison warden and corporate lackey super villains are introduced to us the first issue of Antioch, in what might seem like a conflict. To save the world, and in particular the environment the heroes have a fight on their hands.
Sooo, before I continue, I have to acknowledge something that might bias my review. I didn’t read the Frontiersman series that preceded this and when I got to the end of the issue, it became clear through the fan’s letter page that this is a sequel.
I feel like this might be a disappointing review to those who want to know if Antioch #1 adds to what was started with Frontiersman and unfortunately, I can’t tell you. If it comes as a reassurance, I have got it planned as my next Google Books read as I have heard good things about the series from the Facebook groups I’m a part of.
What I can do is give you a fresh perspective, one that lets you know if this issue stands up on its own and there are definitely parts where it does that and parts where it doesn’t. Let’s get the latter parts out of the way.
The first issue is definitely dropping you in with the expectation that you as a reader will appreciate if you read the preceding series. The hero of the Frontiersman is behind bars, amongst the depowered villains (from what we have seen so far) who he put away. It is definitely interesting to see a new superhero world being created like this. It reminds me of Invincible in that sense. Unlike early Marvel and DC, it is a world that has already lived and breathed BUT it still feels like I needed to read Frontiersman to understand how the hell he got into prison. I also felt confused by certain characters and I’m not sure whether I’m meant to know who they are or this is a teaser of who we are going to learn their identity in time.
Where this story is strong is in our introduction to of Antioch, a king from another continent ready to throw down with anyone who stands in his path to justice. As strange as it sounds, these parts of the issue reminds me less of other superhero franchises, but actually remind me of the Final Fantasy games. Why? The battle against corporations who want to destroy the environment reminds me of FF7 and the airships and royalty remind me of… well… most other Final Fantasy games but more so FF9 (my favourite). His introduction shows him as a tough fighter who shows no mercy and it’s exciting to see his role in bringing the threads of the series we’ve seen together.
Overall, yeah I feel like I need to read Frontiersman and I would recommend anyone reading to do so too, but if you’re willing to take a chance on something unexpected, give Antioch #1 a go, I’ve definitely enjoyed it.