Capeless Crusader Reviews DANGER CLUB #1

Hunger Games meets Justice League in DANGER CLUB #1

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By Josh Epstein - 4/11/2012
"Danger Club #1"
by Landry Q. Walker & Eric Jones
April 8th, 2012

Unsupervised children beat each other lifeless in an arena while the world around them burns.

Fans of books like The Hunger Games may find this a familiar concept, but beyond that slight similarity, Danger Club is in a class of its own.

We join the story already in progress and quickly learn that this world is having a really bad year.

The superhuman protectors of the planet ventured off into space three months prior to deal with a cosmic-level threat. They have not returned.

In their absence, the duty of protecting the planet has fallen to their teenage sidekicks. As is clear from the first present-day panel, they haven't exactly done a bang-up job.

This is a world that looks to have taken more than its share of beatings recently. The landscape is apocalyptic, the sky dark and smoke-filled. The characters are not bright and shiny super-heroes but appear to be just as dark as the world they inhabit.

Several of the characters, particularly Kid Vigilante do appear to be homages, if not straight-up rip-offs, of certain iconic sidekicks. Particularly given the way the fight between Kid and Apollo winds up going down, the parallels are not too difficult to see. There is a certain hard-bitten writer of a certain book about a certain pointy-eared crusader who will probably see some strong similarities in how the fight is won as well.

What really interests me about this book is its commentary on youth culture. The characters presented here are ostensibly the next generation of super-heroes, but they do not act like it. The idea that, without adult supervision, these kids will run completely wild might seem silly on its face, but after consideration, it actually makes a great deal of sense.

These are, essentially, children. Children who have spent their formative years solving any and all problems by punching it in the face until it stops punching back.

When the decision to engage in combat is made in this book, it is not after careful consideration. Nor is any attempt made to resolve the situation without coming to blows. For characters who are supposed to have been allies in the past, this either indicates a very messy history (which we will probably have revealed to us) or a complete mental breakdown (also distinctly possible).

There are numerous novels and movies that have dealt with the idea of placing children in extremely high-stress situations in which they are set in opposition to each other: Lord of the Flies, Ender's Game, Battle Royale, and its American cousin, The Hunger Games. Each approaches the idea from a different genre's viewpoint, but they all have definite thematic similarities.

In many of these, the meat of the story is found when a character discovers a way to break the "rules of the game" and overturn the applecart. Whether this winds up being the case with Danger Club remains to be seen.

This is one book I don't intend to spoil, particularly since the stakes already seem extremely high at the outset.

Suffice it to say that there is blood, mayhem, orbital laser strikes, and moon-hopping robots.

If that isn't enough to get you to run out and pick up this book, then your nerd-radar needs some serious adjusting.
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StuckInPanels - 4/11/2012, 8:47 PM
I actually picked it up today and it was a pretty cool first issue. I wouldn't say it draws on the Hunger Games for inspiration. Thats Americas got Powers
TheCapelessCrusader - 4/15/2012, 11:31 AM
@ComicCritic87: I would absolutely agree. I'd heard that criticism leveled against this book, and wanted to make darn sure I nipped it in the bud with this review.

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