Outlawed #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on March 19, 2020

Writer: Eve L. Ewing
Artist: Kim Jacinto
Colours: Espen Grundetjern
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles

Outlawed #1 is the start of Marvels latest event. Focusing on the teenage superheroes, a new law is put into effective which ban them from carrying out their superhero work. There are going to be instant comparisons between this event and Civil War. On paper the concepts are very similar, but the execution is very different.

Looking ahead at how this event is going to unfold it looks a little less sprawling than a number of Marvels recent events which has to be a good thing. There will be tie-ins with the Miles Morales, Magnificent Ms. Marvel and Ghost-Spider storylines (all of which make a great deal of sense since these characters are going to be heavily involved) as well as a couple of new five issue mini-series, Power Pack and New Warriors. It also launches a new ongoing Champions series. All of these tie-ins and mini-series make sense, and there doesn’t seem to be any unnecessary ones thrown in for the sake of it. Of course that may change in the execution, but so far so good.

Eve L. Ewing has a lot to do in this issue. Primarily she needs to introduce the concepts for the whole event, tell a disaster big enough to cause this kind of activity, as well as making sure all the teen heroes get a chance for their time in the spotlight.

The majority of this issue focuses on an incident at Kamala Khans school which is the precursor for this new event. The champions are guarding Ailana Kabua, an eco activist in the vein of Greta Thunberg, and of course things don’t quite go to plan.

It’s an interesting concept, asking the question of whether teen superheroes should be allowed to operate? They are still kids after all. It’s a shame in a way that the comic is very much under the impression that yes, they should be doing what they’re doing, and it’s going to be a government vs teen heroes. I would have liked there to be a bit more moral ambiguity here, so that the reader finds themselves unclear on which side they should be on.

There are a few twists and turns in this issue, but nothing truly outstanding. It’s definitely one for fans of the Champions, or any of the teen vigilantes, but if you wouldn’t normally pick up one of their books there isn’t much to pull you in either. That may change as the event goes on however.

Kim Jacinto’s art is good, capturing the frentic energy and action as well as the quieter moments. She also does a great job capturing the different reactions of the heroes when being questioned during the subcommittee. Their emotions are written all over their faces, and it brings home their anger, or confusion, over the whole situation.

Espen Grundetjern’s colours are great, all the different superheroes have a variety of different colours and she captures them in frentic glory during the fighting.

An essential read for fans of teen superheroes, the start of the Outlawed event won’t want to be missed by anyone. Doesn’t have the biggest appeal if you aren’t reading one of their ongoing series though. A good springboard for the newest Champions series. The art is good and draws you deep into the action. I would have preferred a bit more ambiguity when it comes to the question of whether the teens should be allowed to operate as heroes.

Our Score:


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