Mild Spoilers Ahead
Tony Barber is a journalist for a local Detroit newspaper and he is angry. He’s angry that the city is in such decay and that there seems to be no one to save it. He lives with his father whose memory and body have begun to fail him. The only hero Detroit seems to have is Stealth. Stealth is a winged superhero who fights crime across Detroit, but his methods have become more brutal of late. Is Stealth the hero Detroit deserves or is he just another blight upon the city?
Stealth #1 introduces us to a new superhero, this one working out of Detroit, Michigan. He is a man in a winged power suit who fights crime both large and small and he is on a mission to find a missing girl.
The brutality of Stealth mirrors Tony’s own anger at the city. While Tony rails against the city in his newspaper article, Stealth beats upon the low-level burglars and kidnappers that are aiding in Detroit’s downfall.
The drama at home with Tony and his father’s declining mental health is compellingly tragic. It’s easy to connect with Tony and his dad and their dilemma is all too common in the real world.
We do learn the identity of Stealth in this issue. It plays to your assumptions without ever confirming them and then it pulls the rug out from under you. It’s pretty damn clever.
Nate Bellagarde’s artwork is fantastic. He makes both the big action scenes and the private drama shine and he does an excellent job of showing how brutal Stealth can be. The design of Stealth, courtesy of Cory Walker, is particularly brilliant. It perfectly straddles that line of believable and visually appealing. Tamra Bonvillain’s color work is as strong as ever, giving this book the vibrant yet gloomy atmosphere it needs to make the story gel.
Stealth #1 is an excellent start for this new superhero series. It’s in part what one would expect from a superhero comic, but it still subverts expectations in several clever ways. The narrative, characters, and visuals all come together in a gripping manner and the book earns a recommendation. Give it a read.
Stealth #1 comes to us from writer Mike Costa, artist Nate Bellegarde, color artist Tamra Bonvillain, letterer Sal Cipriano, cover artist and variant cover artist Jason Howard, creators Robert Kirkman and Marc Silvestri, character redesigner Cory Walker.
Final Score: 9/10