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Comic Review: Marineman No. 1

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The Deal: Veteran artist Ian Churchill strikes out on his own with the creator-owned, all-ages title Marineman — which presumably chronicles the adventures of an amphibious superhero. (It's kind of too early to tell where the story is going for sure.)

The Good: Today's comic book industry isn't exactly overflowing with books aimed at young audiences — so anytime a creator and/or a publishing company launches a new one, that's always a good thing. On top of the fact that this book exists at all, another "good" thing about Marineman is the art. While I've never really been a big fan of Churchill's work, the drawings here look like something that just leaped off an animated cartoon. And the color (also by Churchill) is really poppin' and bright as well.

The Bad: Marineman may target younger readers, but boy, does it move at a snail's pace. In fact, nothing really happens this issue at all. I mean, the main character didn't even show any of his super powers; I had to flip through the book to make sure that this was indeed a "superhero" title. Turns out that a pin-up in the back of the book shows Marineman with webbed fingers, but there's no sign of that in this first issue. I'm not sure a kid will necessarily be eager to read this comic from beginning to end.

The Verdict: Great art. Slow story. Hooray for more kid-friendly comics, but I think we need to ratchet up the action. I'll pick up the next edition to see if anything changes.

Quick hits

RASL No. 9: This book comes out so infrequently, it's hard to remember what happens from issue to issue. Still, whenever I read it, I'm reminded why I love artist/writer Jeff Smith so much. He's a master of the craft and with RASL, he's created one freaky-ass and incredibly thought-provoking property. The Verdict: Pick it up — but read the previous issue first so you're not totally lost.

Heroes for Hire No. 1: Decent start to a new series, but the "shocking" ending left me wanting. Plus, I'm not a fan of rotating casts, so I'm not sure how much I'm going to love what happens in this book. The Verdict: I cautiously recommend it.

Reviewed materials provided by Heroes Aren't Hard to Find: www.heroesonline.com.

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