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Opposite Forces (2005 Series) #1

June 22, 2010 Leave a comment

August 6, 2005

Quick Rating: Great

If Captain Dynamo loses his power, who can save the city?

Writer: Tom Bancroft
Art: Tom Bancroft
Colors: Josh Ray
Letters: John Trent
Cover Art: Tom Bancroft & Cedric Hohnstadt
Publisher: Alias Enterprises/Funny Pages Press

This new Opposite Forces series, premiering this week from Alias, is actually a full-color reprint of a black-and-white miniseries from a few years ago, and with the bargain introductory issues Alias does, there’s no better use for your 75 cents this week. I loved every page of this comic book.

Captain Dynamo is a superhero. A pompous, arrogant, attention-seeking superhero. And his second biggest fan, unbeknownst to both of them, is living in his own apartment building. Marty Knopf is a sweet, solitary guy who spends his time watching Captain Dynamo, hanging out with his dog Bopper, and nursing an unrequited crush on his neighbor, Alexis. He doesn’t think she knows he’s alive, but he’s wrong – she just happens to think he’s a creepy guy from across the hall.

On the day Marty finally finds the courage to make his move, an armada of aliens are preparing to enact their plans to render Captain Dynamo helpless. The aliens, an elevator mishap and a pot of matzo ball soup all converge to bring Marty and Alexis together in a way neither of them ever would have expected.

Bancroft is a former Disney animator, and it shows in both the story and artwork – both have a sort of charming, wholesome quality that one generally associates with Disney (although to be frank, this is a lot better than the stuff they’ve been turning out lately. They should have kept Bancroft on staff and made Opposite Forces into a movie.) You immediately feel a connection to Marty, because let’s face it, he’s got elements of just about all comic book fans in them. Alexis comes across as slightly shallow at first, but she also shows a willingness to grow that makes you want to watch her over the next three issues.

The artwork is just wonderful. It looks like the storyboard for a cartoon, there can be no doubt that this is the work of an animator, and I mean that as a compliment. The action, even in “normal” apartment scenes, is extremely fluid and energetic. You can picture the characters moving as though you were watching a cartoon. I rather like Bancroft’s designs as well – and a few concept sketches he shows you in the back pages shows he definitely made the right choices with the designs he selected.

I heard about this comic the first time around, but I never managed to find a copy, so I’m really happy that Alias is reprinting it (in color for the first time). I’ll be even happier if Bancroft comes back after these four issues are up and makes more. This is a fantastic comic, and if you pass up this bargain first issue, you’re making a huge mistake.

Rating: 9/10