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Intrepids #1

Posted by Luke Brown On March - 7 - 2011

Image Comics’ The Intrepids #1 combines super-science and spies to great effect. The Johnny Quest-like sensibilities melded with a more mature tone help establish this book as one worth reading. For now.


Four misfit children are recruited by a seemingly wealthy man. Utilizing his research on augmentations, he’s able to craft the children into a small task force. Their purpose? Taking down rogue mad scientists before their devious machinations can take flight. It’s a familiar trope, but there’s room for a new interpretation, and that’s where Weibe’s and Kowalchuk’s The Intrepids comes in. Though we may have seen a base concept like this before, the way it’s carried out in this book makes all the difference. I’m a sucker for anything that remotely resembles the classic cartoon Johnny Quest, and when you team that with the covert action of an action-filled spy series, you definitely have a recipe for success.

Though each of the characters in the story does get a few moments to reveal something about his or her character, for the most part we spend our time learning about the team’s de facto field leader, Ms. Crow. From watching her very humble beginnings as a street urchin, to seeing how she feels when her adoptive father figure informs her he’s adding more children to the “family,” we’re given insight into why Ms. Crow acts the way she does. She appears to be the doting mother, as she’s protective of her group, but there’s still an uncertainty in her convictions. The main story is paced rather nicely, with the flashbacks peppered in just frequently enough to give you glimpses into why things are the way they are. I’m still a little doubtful of the true reason the mentor Dante has his “children” carrying out these missions, but that bit of intrigue only adds to my desire to see more of this story.

Kowalchuk’s art is clean and provides a nice representation of the world these characters inhabit. The mod-like clothes infuse a throwback vibe, while the advanced technological aspects feel just sci-fi enough that the story feels fantastical. He’s also able to handle action and the quieter moments quite well. There’s one panel early in the story, where Ms. Crow has just shot down a cybernetically enhanced bear, that’s easily my favorite in the entire book. Just the way Kowalchuck captures Ms. Crow as the bear falls to her feet, with her coat fluttering in the breeze created by the monster’s momentum suddenly stopping, speaks volumes about how the tiniest of flourishes can add so much to a panel.

I like how The Intrepids has begun. There’s a good sense of character, a great sense of imagination, and a retro-inspired style that makes for some nice interiors. I’m interested in seeing more of these characters’ back stories, as well as their further adventures, and you can’t really ask for more from a first issue. I hope Weibe and Kowalchuck have enough ammunition to keep this premise feeling fresh every month, as this is a book I would like to get used to.

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