Webcomic Spotlight showcases some of today’s best comics that are predominantly, or entirely, published on the internet.
I’m going to let all of you in on a little secret, something I don’t typically talk about too much, a…let’s call it…guilty pleasure of mine. I really and truly enjoy comics from the Golden and Silver Age of comic books. There’s just an innocence to them that I find appealing. Sure, there’s a ton of stuff wrong with comics from those eras, I’ve written about it here and here. However, that’s not what I’m talking about. Comics from the 1930-40’s had a sense of lightheartedness that comics today have lost. Everything is gritty and dark, and truthfully, that speaks more to our culture than it does many other things. That’s why I love Golden and Silver Age comics, because they weren’t trying to be trendy and edgy, they wanted to have fun without taking themselves too seriously. So, when I come across a webcomic that delivers a similar feel and tone, I find myself easily pulled into it. Adamant, by Mike Exner III, Ian Waryanto, D.C. Stuelpner, and Dann Franco, brought me back to a time when comics were more about having fun, than telling the darkest version of a story possible.
Don’t get me wrong, I love today’s comics, but there’s just something about everyone trying to be serious and gritty that gets old. There’s so many fun stories to be told, everything doesn’t need to be about murdered families, or children born into race wars. Those things are compelling, and there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with telling those stories. However, when I’m presented a story about a hero with a huge chin, who’s nemesis is an evil guy with a cape and monocle, it’s like a breath of fresh air.
Adamant is about the story’s namesake, Adamant, a hero with super strength and invulnerability. These may not be his only powers, but seeing as we’re only one issue deep, with a handful of pages into issue two, it’s a guessing game as to the possibilities. His arch-enemy, Dr. Alpha, has a plan to take control of the Large Hadron Collider, which our hero foils. In this scuffle, an energy beam shot by Dr. Alpha supercharges the Collider, and Adamant is forced to bottle it up. It is this setup that sends our hero forward in time, to a point when the world he once knew is no longer there. Instead, it appears that the world has done away with super heroes, and has stepped up their game in technology which attacks anyone demonstrating such abilities.
While that’s the premise of the comic, understand that this entire story is written in a tone where fun seems to be the focus. In the entire first issue we’re given glimpses into past scuffles with Dr. Alpha, and each one feels as though it’s taken directly from the 30’s and 40’s. This isn’t unintentionally comedic, but instead, is being written with thought and care, not giving in to today’s saturated market of the dark and serious. In Adamant, we see that things don’t need to be bleak, and death doesn’t need to be a predominant theme in order for a story to be good. Adamant captures everything that is wonderful about the Golden Age of comics, but propels it into a modern setting.
One of my favorite series of novels is the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. For those unaware, Hitchhiker’s Guide is a story where ALL OF MANKIND is destroyed, yet never feels depressing, instead, is one of the most fun sci-fi stories ever told. How? Because the book is about the adventure, and the characters who are on it instead of focusing on the tragedy they’re thrust into. It’s that very thing that writer Mike Exner III captures. Instead of sitting on the horrible situation Adamant is in, he makes the story about a hero being just that, a hero.
All in all, I loved every page of Adamant. It spoke to a side of my comic loving nature that hasn’t been perked in a long time. The art is brilliant as are the colors and layouts. It appears that the creative team producing this comic are knocking out one book at a time with breaks inbetween issues. Luckily, if you’re reading this on the day it’s published, issue two just started. If you’re looking for something that has fun and adventure in mind, I can’t recommend this comic enough.
You can check it out HERE.