The image of a hero has ingrained itself into popular culture. The colors, the personality, and the poses are all something we can easily picture, but what makes a hero? Is it the desire to good? The hatred of evil? Or do you need the power to do something about it? Maybe they just need to be the person who steps up to help when everyone else is sitting down.
Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt is a story about a hero that saves the world; a world he hates. Kieron Gillen (The Wicked + the Divine) & Caspar Wijngaard (Doctor Aphra) imagine the Charlton Comics hero, Peter Cannon, as an incredible genius that sees the faults of humanity while recognizing that there’s still hope in them. This version of the character closely resembles the most famous version of him: Ozymandias.
You can’t read this comic without thinking of Watchmen. From the plot of an alien invasion bringing together a scattered world, to the grids that are used to tell the story, to our apathetic hero, Watchmen is firmly in Peter Cannon’s DNA. Although, Gillen infuses the tale with wit and personality while Wijngaard adds a kinetic energy that saves the book from turning dour.
The first issue goes through an arc of plot. We’re introduced to a motly crew of this world’s greatest heroes, given our titular hero’s origin story, and had the mother of all action set pieces to stop an alien invasion. This wasn’t just a first issue, but a lesson in how to create a breezy comic that’s as engaging as it’s brief.
The pitch for Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt was Gillen’s love song to the superhero genre. Well, “Love Song” in a Leonard Cohen Love Song kind of way and you feel that as it’s a dark tale spun in the form of a fun, frenetic comic with moments of brilliance. Gillen and Wijngaard have a winner on their hands and I for one am along for the ride.
How do we rate it? 5 Sodas!
Writer. Using a college education to write about comics while swimming in student loans. Once got invite to a cult, make with that what you will.