Villainous #1 – Review
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Tilly, one of the newest super-powered people to join the Coalition of Heroes through their sidekick program, is doing her best to navigate the dizzying world of superheroes. Working with her idols should be a dream come true, but when she learns too much about her heroes, Tilly’s dream quickly turns into a nightmare. As she learns more about the sordid history of the CoH, Tilly has to make a choice — Get in line and stand with her heroes, or take a stand and risk becoming something more… Villainous.
Villainous #1 has the beginnings of what could be a special entry into the world of what the superhero genre can look like. Starting off the issue with leanings similar to the first Volume of The Boys.
The world of Villainous depicts a Coalition of Superheroes based in New York and their adversaries: The Shadow Order. Supposedly being the bastion of good, the introduction kicks into gear with the discovery of a dead sidekick of one of the heroes before we are thrown head first into the hallowed halls of the Coalition’s Headquarters.
The protagonist and audience surrogate, Tilly, a cute anthropomorphic reptile is chosen to be a sidekick for one Showdown. Who, if we’re continuing to use The Boys comparison, comes off as rather analogous to Homelander (minus the rapey tendencies) and of course, Superman.
After a brief jaunt of running his errands, Tilly over hears Showdown bragging to a “girlfriend” that he’s going to kill an Ambassador. She reports this to the powers that be only to be told to fall in line and her apartment destroyed before a chance encounter with The Shadow Order.
Villainous #1 is a neat start to a different take on the superhero/villain dynamic. Though you could pin this down to being a PG version of The Boys, writer Stonie Williams includes some cute moments as Tilly helps the reader forget the similarities with her adorable naivety and young upstart innocence.
Jef Sadzinski’s art is to be praised in this issue. One ongoing complaint I have with anthropomorphic characters is the absenteeism of the animal half. When a character is anthropomorphic there’s a tendency to let the human side take over in how that character relates to the world around them. This could easily across intellectual properties like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtes and Biker Mice From Mars.
Whereas, the fond moments that really stick out are of Tilly’s reptilian nature from wide eyed shock of expressions that highlight her snake eyes. To her body coiling up in frustration of the errands that Showdown makes her carry out. Total and complete anthropomorphism. The art alone would make Dr Moreau very proud.
Villainous hits stores October 14, 2020.
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