With nearly 80 years of publishing history amongst them, Superheroes have been the centre of a lot of stories, many of which can find its roots in real life. However, in this genre where there is the ‘illusion of change’ one story which is most often overlooked is the idea of a superhero as a parent. This week, with a kickstarter running for its most recent issue, we take a look at Kat Calamia’s Superhero series, Like Father, Like Daughter and see if it’s a chip off the superhero block or a comic that is not like those which came before.
Publisher: Kat Calamia Comics
Writer: Kat Calamia
Artist: Wayne Brown (Artist), Lisa Morre (Colorist), Brant Fowler (Letterer)
Price: Currently available with #7 via Kickstarter
Like Father, Like Daughter tells the story of Casey Ryder, a regular teenage girl with a not so regular secret; her father, Jon, is the World’s only superhero, Invulnerable! However, instead of being proud of her dad, Casey carries a serious hatred against this man who 10 years earlier abandoned his family to be a full-time superhero. However, Casey’s hope of never hearing from her dad again are scuppered when a fluke near-accident results in her discovery that she has inherited his powers. Now, Casey, with the help of her friends, must seek the answers from the one person she never hope to see again, a man who behind a heroic image is simply a man wanting to reconnect with his daughter and come together for a common cause. But is Casey’s path something different or is this a case of ‘like father, like daughter.’
Kat Calamia has written an enjoyable and heartfelt story, an almost ‘What if’ tale of Superman being a dad (or continuing to be had Jon Kent not been written out). Calamia has created some very grounded characters in this otherwise epic world. The conflict between Casey and her Invulnerable father, Jon, comes off the page as incredibly realistic, giving me a sense that Calamia is writing from personal experience. However, rather than make this one sided, both Casey and Jon’s stories feel believable and sympathetic, with Jon’s regret at his past actions feeling very much what a father would feel. Calamia’s great grasp of character dynamic doesn’t stop there though, as she forms some terrific dynamics amongst both the supporting cast and the leads.
The best of these is the ‘trinity’ of Casey with friends Steph and Wes, both of whom have such lovely scenes together. While the inter-personal relationships feel like the prime focus of this book, the overall story is intriguing too. In truth, this aspect feels like a blessing and a curse for not only does it distract from the main focus of Casey and Jon’s reconnection, but it also feels similar to Huck. However, the query over the origin of the pairs powers is intriguing before the 11th hour reveal which then ramps it up to seriously engrossing. One can only hope for a full reveal of Jon’s past to answer the questions left behind.
Wayne Brown’s artwork through the series is solid, if somewhat rough, as it gives the story a vibe similar to other superhero comics like Elk Mountain and Supers. This look is solidified thanks to Lisa Moore’s colours, which gives the series the ‘pop’ expected of superhero comics, especially in the 90’s era. If there is one complaint about the art it is the school based look of the characters having a morning glories, almost sexualised look. That said, Brown straddles that line very well and always manages to convey the sweetness and innocence of scenes, which helps give the series a particular charm. Finally praise needs to be given to Brant Fowler, who delivers solid lettering throughout the series.
Like Father, Like Daughter is a heartwarming and fun series which not only offers a different kind of origin story but an insight into the father/daughter relationship. With some solid art and a conspiracy themed twist to an already fun story, this is a series worth the time to invest as it brims with potential going forward.