Many thanks to Dion Winton-Polak of our sibling podcast Scrolls on the GSN, for this great review - Stacey.
Whatever Happened To The World's Fastest Man? by Dave West & Marleen Lowe, published by Accent UK.
Bobby Doyle can step out of time but otherwise he's a normal kid. Loving, kind and quiet, he's not the sort to stand out in a crowd, but when the train he's on starts to crash he becomes the hero of the hour, saving everybody in an apparant blink of an eye. Glimpsed by the driver mid-rescue the legend of the world's fastest man is born. A new hero has stepped up to the plate but there's one hell of a curveball coming his way. With time ticking away on a terrorist threat we're about to find out just what being a hero means, and what it can cost.
Kickstarting a new series called Blessed/Cursed, Dave West presents us with a totally different kind of superhero tale. The world feels real, the people we see are everyday folks leading everyday lives. There are no costumes, no pizazz. Just an ordinary young man with an extraordinary gift. It's a story with real heart, aching with sympathy for ordinary victims and unsung heroes. The artwork is wonderful - simple but not cartoony. The urban landscape is varied and packed with details whilst the thronging people each have their individual sparks of character, marking Marleen Lowe as a talent to watch. I was especially taken with her representation of the time-stopped world, a simple trick played beautifully.
Where the creators have combined most powerfully is the shaping of Bobby Doyle, whose thoughts and feelings are expressed at least as much by his body language as the conversations he holds in an otherwise silent world. He is a superb creation and about as well defined, sympathetic, humerous and heart-warming a hero as I have come across. Aging whilst the rest of the world pauses between breaths, he is literally giving his life for others and no one will ever know. No-one but us.
It was a deserving Eagle award winner at this years MCM expo, but if I were Dave or Maureen I'd be just as proud of it if no-one had ever heard of it, if it was just another comic on the shelf. It's value is inherant. Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy soon.
Reviewed by Dion Winton-Polak