Down, But Not Out: An Early-Bird Review Of The Further Adventures Of Nick Wilson #1

by Oliver MacNamee

What happens to you if one minute you’re on top of the world and loved by millions as their soaring saviour, and then the next your superpowers suddenly stop working? Well, in Nick Wilson’s case, you take any job you can, even if it’s as a children’s entertainer at birthday parties. Your greatest adversity being puke on your replica suit!

That’s the reality for washed out one-time hero, Nick Wilson, who’s clearly seen better days but seems somewhat upbeat, really, considering how far he’s fallen. Or, at least at more of an ease with his new life than his erstwhile business manager and friend, Hudson. The bong he’s grasping on the front cover, by Peter Woods (currently storming it on DC’s Justice League book) gives you a glimpse into his life now, and it’s clearly not going the way he planned it. Good on him, then, that he can still remain somewhat optimistic.

Now, if the premise to this series sounds like a more light-hearted look at the superhero genre, it may be because the story for this book comes from Eddie Gorodetsky who has written for The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,  Two And A Half Men (but, I won’t hold that against him on this occasion) and The Big Bang Theory, gaining an Emmy along the way. He knows funny, and he knows about outsiders and down and outs. However, it’s writer Marc Andreyko and artist Steve Sadowski who do the heavy lifting and give the readers a comic with enough light exposition to paint in enough background details to Nick’s previous life and loves to engage with the reader and root for him by the end of this first issue.

Partly because, no matter how low he has fallen, he still has the heart and conscience of a superhero. You don’t need the sparkly spandex and superpowers to be good in this life and, for me, that’s part of the appeal. If this over extended genre tells it’s readers anything, it’s to be considerate, be nice and look out for one another. And, its a message a large sway of America could learn something from in these dark political times.

But, before this becomes a rally to arms for the liberal left, let’s continue with the review shall we?

If anything, Nick is a better person now than he once was, if reports on his past escapades are anything to go by. But then, he was younger, an Adonis in tights. Who wouldn’t have their head turned and the fire of their ego stoked? But now, older, but maybe not wiser, he is still aware of lurking paparazzi, but for different reasons these days. Thanks to the likes of TMZ and before that The National Enquirer, we are a species that loves nothing more than a fallen celebrity, and Nick has clearly been burnt in the past.

Sadowski’s art, realistic and reminiscent in both tone and style to Steve Pugh’s work on Animal Man, fits well and Nick becomes a well rounded, middle age man full of varying expressions, which only helps cement his relationship with the reader. It’s a five part story, and with the introduction of his possible Lex Luthor, I’m sold on this series. This is one hard luck hero I found myself rooting for, because of his heart, but also because I want him to succeed. His life has been one disappointment after another, but he still gets back up again. One true sign of a hero, surely?

The Further Adventures of Nick Wilson #1 is out Wednesday the 17th of January from Image Comics.