Saturday, June 24, 2017

Amazing Age #1 Review



"Amazing Age" #1 from Alterna Comics -

    Sam Charleston was a kid who loved comics. He spent his days enjoying his family, school and spending time with his best friends, Violet and Mike. Sam loved comics so much he began to draw them, making elaborate adventures, all involving J.E.T. (The Justice Enforcement Team), a trio of superheroes based on Sam, Violet, and Mike. But one day, it all changed. When Sam's father died tragically, Sam's world was torn apart. Five years later, Sam has become a rebel, and he is estranged from his childhood friends; but through the anger and pain, Sam's childhood dreams are calling out to him once more. When Sam, Violet, and Mike all find a copy of "Amazing Age," the comic Sam created as a young boy, they end up whisked away into a world of adventure, superheroes, and danger far above anything they could ever have dreamed.

   Matthew D. Smith takes us back to those halcyon days when the good guys were good, the bad guys were bad, and comic books were for everyone to enjoy. "Amazing Age" is definitely a throwback to simpler times when comics were just good, clean, fun - you won't find political drama, over accentuated, scantily-clad super folks, or sexual situations - "Amazing Age" is just an old-fashioned childhood adventure, which will probably develop into a cool bildungsroman by the time it is over. Sam, the protagonist, is the type of kid most of us were (if you're over forty): he passes his time outside after school, hanging with his friends, and roaming the neighborhood totally unsupervised. It's easy to relate to him and feel for him when tragedy strikes his life. We've all either known that kid, or BEEN that kid, whose life was changed forever, whose innocence was lost when adulthood came knocking too soon and began to block the sunlight that flowed freely into the windows of our young soul. The writer, Matt Smith, is indeed writing an all ages adventure comic, but I really get the sense that he's also working towards some sort of personal catharsis in this tale. And that is VERY interesting indeed. While "Amazing Age" is short on flash, it's got heart - it reminds me just a bit of one of my childhood favorites, "The Neverending Story," where a reader is whisked away to a fantasy world for an amazing adventure; however, in this case, the world where Sam and his friends find themselves is one of Sam's own creation. Jeremy Massie is the artist here, and he chose a simple, cartoony art style to tell this story, which turned out to be a good decision. It looks like Alterna Comics wants to revive the use of the classic newsprint paper...While it's not as pretty as the glossy pages or today's comics, "Amazing Age" #1 only cost $1.50! Imagine buying comics on newprint packed with great stories at low prices. Imagine buying 10, 15 or 20 titles a month to enjoy without breaking the bank. I can get behind that!

   "Amazing Age" is a fun comic, but it won't be for everyone. Some are going to need glossy pages. Some will need a politically charged, socially relevant, intellectually stimulating, complex story to enjoy themselves. In truth, I like those things as well...But sometimes, it is okay to just kick back, put your feet up, and go soaring on a childlike flight of fancy, and "Amazing Age" is Matt D. Smith's way of helping us do that all for the low-low price of $1.50. VERY cool.

RATING: 8 out of 10 for good, clean, fantasy fun.

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