By Patricia Jenkins
Writer: David Schwartz
Colorist: David Curiel
Penciler: Micah Gunnell
Letterer: Josh Reed
Editor: Vince Hernandez
As a novice book reader, the concept of Idolized piqued my fancy immediately. Take American Idol, a pop-cultural phenomenon that is so rooted in American culture & combine it with a badass female heroine/superhero, or soon to be superhero… and you get Aspen Comics Idolize. Now… the whole “Idol” concept has the potential to come off as superficial, trivial & “hacky”, but writer David Schwartz does a fantastic job towing the line, providing just enough campiness, whilst offering us a compelling and relatable tale.
Unlike the X-men, Idolized takes place in a world where folks with superpowers and special abilities aren’t chastised, they’re a part of the everyday makeup. It’s here we meet tortured teenager Leslie Linnell, who at 7 years old experiences an undreamed of event, at the hands of villain Stasis, which isolates and riddles her with unimaginable guilt and seething anger. Low and behold, even in a universe of superheroes, reality television is alive and present. Our heroine sees an advertisement for “Superhero Idol”, where the winner will win an elite spot on the superhero team The Powered Protectors. Hell bent on seeking revenge on Stasis Leslie packs it all in, to audition.
In addition to a great story, I have to say that the artwork immediately drew me in. It was truly gorgeous. Micah Gunnell and David Curiel colors popped and were absolutely stunning and whimsical. While I’m no expert, the characters were drawn rather well, with keen detail to facial emotion & expression, which continually kept me attuned and rapt in the unfolding story.
Anyone who has struggled and battled with their own demons, will definitely appreciate, relish, and root for Leslie along her journey. I definitely look forward to meeting some her fellow Superhero Idol contestants, but more importantly exploring the ghosts of her past. I’m intrigued to delve deeper into her motivation for revenge and redemption, and find out ultimately will she succumb to her desire to seek revenge or rise above. In the end, I give Idolized a 4 out of 5. Idolized “out”… I hope not, as I’m highly anticipating issue 2.