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Unstoppable Comics

In addition to rpgs, I have a fondness of superhero comics. My collection is rather large and cumbersome so I've been investigating digital comics. The big two, DC and Marvel, only release ecomics through Comixology. If your goal is to have a pleasant reading experience, Comixology is great. If your goal includes owning comics, it hasn't been a good service. With some knowledge it is possible to backup comics on an android device and a select number of companies have just started offering downloads.

Recently Unstoppable Comics did a kickstarter for Stormchasers #1 Redux. I had seen them on drivethrucomics but wasn't impressed enough to try any titles. The Redux kickstarter interested me enough to give it a try. I decided to join at the level that receives all their titles. This review tries to keep the spoilers to a minimum but beware that is not entirely possible.

Production wise the books are pretty good. I've spotted some minor errors like "Stastriker" instead of "Starstriker" in some of the text of Starstriker's entry in the Character Guide. Stormchasers #4 has page 16, 17 and 20 duplicated.

Stormchasers

The first title created by Unstoppable Comics. It is a team book. I started with the #1 Redux and then read the original with commentary before continuing to the rest of the series. You should start with the #1 Redux not the original. Mr. Rosario's experience has improved his storytelling and his commentary on the original is insightful.

The series takes a while to build up but does leave me wondering what happens next. You get the sense of the larger world that the characters live in. It starts with a team of seven but soon adds nine more heroes into the mix. Unstoppable Comics aims to create a cast of heroes that represent the true diversity of people found in the world. While the characters have a large variety of ethnicity, with so many characters only a same amount of screen time is available.

A sense of history is a double edged sword. My wife has been interested in reading some comics but finds the history of the two big universes overwhelming. Unstoppable Comics short publishing history allows her to get in early on but they have built a history that the reader don't know. When encountering Dr. Zero, you learn that the Stormchasers know him but you know nothing. In addition to the sixteen heroes, you have twelve villains introduced in the seven issues. For example I know nothing of the capabilities of Crosscurrent until I looked in the Character Guide. As a fan of Legions of Superheroes, I don't mind large casts but Stormchasers doesn't pull it off as well.

Some of the characters seems a little derivative. Starstriker seems like a Superman type. Interceptor resembles Captain America. Izm is a speedster like Flash. I understand there will be a certain similarity among heroes but most of the heroes haven't been fleshed out enough to explain that difference to me. Interceptor's shield is magical instead of being made of special material but except for stopping a car I haven't seen a difference. He blocks attacks with the shield and throws it. Granted that doesn't stop me from wanting to learn more about Orbiter who seems like a Green Lantern like character. Besides him, my favorite hero is Ms. Freedom who has teleportation powers. I want to like Quetzelcoatl due to my fondness of the Aztecs but he hasn't really impressed me.

Unstoppable Origins

This series helps to fill in some gaps in our knowledge of the characters. Starstriker's and Interceptor's origin are short and focused on the origin story. The Phatomhawk received two parts so far. I know he took over being Phantomhawk but it never explains if he had the powers all along or something else caused them. I'm hopeful each character in Stormchasers is given a story arc in Unstoppable Origins that can flesh out the character assuming they don't receive their own title.

Dragonstorm

While I'm not a fan of martial art characters, this title is excellent. It delivers a compelling story and a managable number of heroes and villains are introduced. This title has the advantage of being created later so Mr. Rosario's storytelling has improved.

Unstoppable Comics Character Guide

I have yet to fully read the Character Guides. I've instead jumped around in the books. They are perhaps the most disappointing Unstoppable Comics product to me. I've always like the Who's Who in the DC Universe and the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe. The Character Guides don't deliver the same quality of information.

The first negative is the lack of a table of content. The characters are alphabetical within the guide but each issue has a seemingly random collection of characters. Most characters are on the cover but not all. I don't mind the random collection since that will happen as more characters are added and additional character guides are produced. In addition to a table of content, the pdf version should have bookmarks to each character for easy navigation.

The content for each entry is relatively minimal. The Phatomhawk entry has no information on my main question after reading Unstoppable Origins. Quetzecoatyl is an Aztec god but what that makes him capable of is not mentioned. Starstriker doesn't mention that he can fly or fire beams from his eyes. It does have some information beyond the comics in some cases so it can be helpful.

Final Thoughts

Unstoppable Comics doesn't have a particularly demanding release schedule. Their web site describes them as quartely publication at the moment (or at least it did as the About Us is currently blank and no FAQ or anything). I'm interested enough in the stories that I will probably keep tabs on the comics.

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Last modified: 2014-08-15, 21:25

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