This originally debuted as a digital only series but was so successful a whole new ongoing series was created. Can Tech Jacket continue its success and more importantly, is it good?
Tech Jacket #1 (Image Comics)
This is my first foray into the Tech Jacket universe, though it’s not hard to get into the groove of things due to a tight script by Joe Keatinge. The book opens with a young boy asking his dad if there are aliens in the universe; the father tells him there must be since there’s so many stars and planets. Cut to the same boy, now a teenager, kicking alien ass and wearing the Tech Jacket costume. The issue introduces the character nicely, although it’s safe to say we don’t get one clue as to where the suit came from or how this son and father duo got into the alien butt kicking business.
It’s pretty clear this is written for a slightly younger audience. The characters are simple enough to understand and root for, the plot isn’t too complicated and the concept is kid friendly. That said, I wholly enjoyed the ride and enjoyed the less complex storytelling. I got a Nova vibe from this issue, at least the more recent version, since the kid is younger and shows an innate heroic nature. The bad guys are introduced in a neat way that suggests they aren’t just cliched bad guys doing bad guy things and the girlfriend, while given a brief moment, is rendered well enough to grasp the gravity of the situation. Heck, even the cliffhanger is interesting and compelling.
The art by Khary Randolph has a slightly cartoony edge, and while there is a tongue being torn out of an alien’s head, the alien is cutesy enough that it’s not horrific in nature. There’s a bit of a manga feel to the design of the characters which helps give it that less realistic feel. I do think the look of the father is a bit off. He doesn’t look very old at all and could pass as an older brother rather than a father. Maybe this is to give us a more brotherly/friend vibe to their relationship, it certainly has an equal feel rather than a bossy dad thing going on, but I had to remind myself he’s his dad more than once reading this issue.
Looks scary to me!
Is It Good?
This is a fun introductory issue that doesn’t reveal a lot of details, but does unveil a compelling story with interesting character dynamics afoot.