Since the dawn of super-hero comics it’s been the same thing, somebody gets powers bestowed upon them or mutates or their parents get killed or they’re born different and poof a hero is born. And what does that hero do? He attracts villains, a rogues gallery if you will, then battles them. The big bad is usually some suped-up dude or freaky monster type who’s on a rampage and our super-powered saviors have to charge in, wresting victory from the jaws of mediocrity. It’s rare that the hero loses and if someone dies they’re usually (always) resurrected.
Suicide Risk takes a different path. And it’s one I’ve been waiting for a long time. We’re often given the “what makes a hero” kind of book. I’m rarely convinced that the hero in question was ever really given a choice (by his creator), maybe I’ve been reading comics too long but the current crop of heroes just don’t seem that human to me these days. This is a book about super powers but it’s also about humans. You decide which aspect makes it more interesting.
Mike Carey gives us a reality where common criminals are turning up super-powered, committing crimes in an unstoppable wave and law enforcement is unable to contain this new threat. Where are the super-heroes? This is a world short on the capes and tights hero, and the ones that exist are getting their asses handed to them! The teaser image (which is also the cover to the first issue, courtesy of Boom! Studios) painted the picture perfectly…
So if you’re a cop, just a regular beat cop, like Leo Winters what do you do? Well after a bank robbery turns massacre leaving most of his unit dead and his partner badly injured, he decides to stop battling the symptom and look for the source of the disease. (images from Suicide Risk 1# courtesy of Boom! Studios)
His off-the-books investigation leads him to the two low-lives who seem responsible for the change in the balance of power, but what he gets from them is a little more than he bargained for… (images from Suicide Risk 2# courtesy of Boom! Studios)
So this week issue 3 dropped and I’m not revealing any of the details from the previous issues but lets say that our man Leo has been through the ringer. His investigation has taken him deeper into the world of these newly minted supes and what he’s uncovered isn’t pretty. But along with that Leo has to deal with his own powers and what wielding such power can do to others. Mike Carey has created a character that acts believable, even in this unbelievable circumstance. (images from Suicide Risk 3# courtesy of Boom! Studios)
After seeing the humanity in Leo and the psychotic brutality of the “bad guys” in this issue the nuggets of a question that Carey has left through the series becomes more prevalent. Why are the bad guys so bad? Why aren’t more of these newly powered peeps heroes? When you see the last panel of #3 you realize there’s a larger story unfolding. A much deeper rabbit hole to fall down. This is a damn good series. Story? 5 out of 5! Add Elena Casagrande’s superbly rendered art, her style equally fitting both the drama and the action sequences and this series is a 5 out of 5 all the way.
Like it says in the title, Suicide Risk (by Mike Carey) is the best damn super-hero cop drama out there! You should be reading it! Don’t wait for the television series or movie, get it now!