Home > Top Cow > City of Heroes (2005 Series) #11

City of Heroes (2005 Series) #11

March 7, 2006

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Trading Places Part Two

Manticore turns on the Freedom Phalanx!

Writer: David Wohl
Pencils: David Nakayama
Inks: Roland Paris
Colors: Sonia Oback & Blond
Letters: Troy Peteri
Cover Art: Rodolfo Miglirai
Publisher: Image Comics/Top Cow

One of the things that has impressed me the most about Top Cow’s City of Heroes comic book is the way they’ve taken the video game heroes, pretty much standard superhero archetypes, and given them their own identities. Manticore, who takes center stage in this arc, is at first glance your standard Green Arrow/Hawkeye style archery hero. He even seems, at first blush, to share Green Arrow’s social conscience and Hawkeye’s disobedient streak.

The more we see of him, though, the more we see him as a unique character, one struggling to live up to the shadow of his father against a group of more “powerful” heroes that don’t give him the respect he deserves. This issue, having been driven out of the Freedom Phalanx, he seemingly throws in his lot with the villainous Lord Recluse and is given the mission of bringing in his former teammate, Sister Psyche.

The twist this issue isn’t that big of a surprise – we’ve seen stuff like this in superhero comics for as long as I can remember – but in a comic like this, that’s not really that big a deal. The real point of this title is to give background and life to those characters that, in the video game, exist merely to hand out missions and badges to your character. Reading this title helps give Paragon City more of a feel of a “legitimate” comic book universe. While you don’t need to play the game to enjoy the comic, as someone who does both, I really think that reading the comic makes the game more fun.

David Nakayama does a dandy job with the artwork here. He’s got a good style for your average superhero title, and while I do have to deduct points for an unnecessary cheesecake shot of Sister Psyche in the bathtub, I do enjoy most of the look of the title.

I don’t know how many people who don’t play City of Heroes are putting down money for the comic book, but those gamers who are into this title really get quite a treat month after month.

Rating: 8/10

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