A high-school social reject and the overachieving queen bee strike up an unorthodox friendship. Sounds like an ’80s John Hughes flick, right? Wrong.
Not unlike early Peter Parker stories, much of it focuses on relationships, at least at first. You have the nerdy kid aspect with our protagonist Duncan, a.k.a. the social reject. And then you have the beautiful and popular Madison.
Madison and Duncan strike up an unlikely friendship after Duncan interrupts the school quarterback and Madison in an intimate moment. Being the typical bonehead, the temper of the football player heats up, and to our own surprise so does Madison.
Madison and Duncan have immediate chemistry on the page, both so comfortable being themselves. In general I tend not to like the “popular girl” in comics and movies, but this comic is different. Writers Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon create very full characters in easy quick moments that give you great insight to a character you just met, which he pairs with natural dialogue that sucks you in immediately. Despite Madison’s beauty and popularity, she is smart and has a great self-assuredness she doesn’t sacrifice. She almost seems just as fed up with her friends as we the readers are. And as for Duncan, while he’s well known as one of the school nerds, he doesn’t really seem to care; he almost revels in it, firing off smartass remarks even though it will most likely get him a mouthful of broken teeth (much in the spirit of Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Peter Parker).
Though Duncan seems to have a carefree attitude at school, he definitely has some Stray Bullets-style hidden shadows in his past that seep through in the issue (don’t want to give too much away!).
This comic provides everything you could want in a comic in a slightly unconventional package. For beating up bullies with super powers we have our unlikely source, Madison, our pretty, popular powerhouse, and for all our smart remarks we have the nerdy Duncan (who I have a feeling will soon surprise us). By the last panel you can tell that the journey is just beginning. I mean, there has to be some reason they can never go home, right?
Add phenomenal art by Josh Hood and a vibrant color scheme from Amanda Scurti, and this comic is a ten out of ten.