Hello! Welcome to another edition of Bin Fodder! This week I review Grounded, written by Mark Sable with other original works to his credit such as Hazed and Rift Raiders. The art is by Paul Azaceta who has a slew of credits both at Marvel and in the indie world.
Grounded is set in a world where superheroes only exist in comic books. At least, that’s what the general public is led to believe. The story’s main character, Jonathan Shepherd, has grand aspirations of being a superhero himself; he just needs to find out what his superpower is. He starts out thinking that he’s secretly super-fast, but that dreams ends rather quickly. He runs through myriad other power aspirations culminating in a belief in an ability to fly causing him to jump off the roof of his house. This ends in the inevitable failure of flight and broken bones.
Skip ahead to high school and Shepherd is still a comic book loving nerd and social outcast clinging to the belief that superheroes are real. Turns out, they are. And not only that, his father’s one of the most powerful ones! He happens to find this out while his dear old dad is sleeping with another woman, a superheroine. Yeah…pretty crappy day overall. But it only gets worse.
For Shepherd’s protection his father takes him to the high school for super heroes where he must now attend. So he goes from being the only kid in school who wants superpowers to being the only kid in a school full of superpowered kids not to have any.
What ensues is a somewhat strange and often times confusing storyline involving mind-control, evil teachers, strange technology and invisible skyscrapers.
Azaceta has an uncanny ability to seamlessly flow between his modern style and the classic format used to depict flashbacks or in-story comic book tales giving the story a lot of added quality. The writing is a little sloppy. It seems like Sable was trying to tell too many stories at once and everything just gets jumbled.
Sadly it seems like the project was abandoned almost as quickly as it was finished, since the homepage for the site only has updates through when issue three (of six) was expected to hit shelves. Additionally, the cover specifically calls this story Grounded Volume 1: Powerless, implying that a follow-up story was to exist but never came to fruition.
In the end, I found myself lost several times in the book because of the confusing mixture of stories and characters. Even with the quality of art this story ranks only
Until next time,
This is Bin Fodder Guru Tim Blacksmith signing off!