Firebreak is a new indie superhero comic from Jay Pear and Ryan Best about a young hero powered by an unusual gem, dealing with the duality of super-heroing and living a normal life. But is this comic hot stuff or will it leave readers burned?
Publisher: Starboard Comics
Writer: Jay Pear
Artist: Ryan Best, HdE (Letters)
Price: $3.49 from Itch online store
Firebreak tells the story of Ray Ransome, a normal high school student who, through the power of an extraterrestrial crystal grafted to his arm, dons the guise of the flame manipulating hero, Firebreak. However, Firebreak‘s enemies seek to take this power from Ray and when one of these Villains, Professor Shard almost succeeds, it results in Firebreak escaping with a previously unknown power. Now, desperate to know the truth, Shard and his associate Rob must locate and interrogate one of his henchman in order to discover if Firebreak really does have a new power or if it was all some random coincidence.
Writer Jay Pear had crafted a quirky story with Firebreak, giving it a vibe of the Static Shock cartoon mixed with a touch of Batman ’66. Firebreak feels almost satirical in it’s execution, with the outlandishness of the villain and his almost laughable incompetence shining through from beginning to end. Of course, given the title, this does beg the question as to why the ‘Hero’ has so little focus? Is this not his story? Is there something we’ve missed? It does feel as though there are questions which were answered in some prior (unknown) issue.
Meanwhile, the art in the issue is solid. Ryan Best style looks incredibly high end, to the extent of it being a top 2 house style. Best’s work here is very reminiscent of Vince Underwood’s work on Elk Mountain (coincidentally another superhero story, and works really well with the story as it highlights the bizarre absurdity of events while also keeping it feeling grounded.
While it has some holes in its plot, Firebreak’s first issue is a simple, fun yarn which keeps you engaged throughout. Couple that with the questions it brings to the surface, as well as it’s cliffhanger ending, then it may very well do enough to bring you back for more.