Superhero universes often take years of blood, sweat and tears to create. However, when one bursts onto the scene fully realized, you want to check out more, and spread the word about it. That’s exactly what I encountered when I supported the first issue of Leaders of the Free World, and the second issue is live on Kickstarter now!
The series takes place in a world for a gods, magic and heroes. Created by Corey Lakel Pruitt, Eli Johnson, and Toben Racicot, the first issue jumped in en media res, with the universe fully formed and years into its complex mythology. It all started with the arrival of the Godsend on Earth, a race of superbeings that used their technology to evolve the entire planet into superhumans. Now after the superhuman war that followed, the series picks up as seven superbeings from across the globe have to stop a worldwide threat, the scope of which is only starting to be revealed at the end of that first issue.
Pruitt had a great sense of scope as he built his world. Nothing felt too full of exposition, with the background coming naturally as the story unfolded. He also made sure not to overwhelm the reader, only introducing five members of the seven member cast. Each of the five were fully realized, with relatable motivations, even if their actual background- such as a reincarnated God, a demigod son of alien superheroes, and super-scientist- is impossible to relate to.
Johnson’s art is worth the price of admission, with both a great eye for eye catching visuals and storytelling. His designs for each hero pop off the page, creating heroes that are larger than life but also immensely relatable. His sense of scale is fantastic too, zooming out the camera on the page to create stunning and fluid wide shots and splash pages.
Issue #2 sees the introduction of the last two members of the team- the angelic Medic and magical Doctor Seance- as they join Surreal the Monkey King, Moonshine, Eco, Doohickey, and Tech-Neek to save the world. Will they do it, and what’s next for them after they succeed?
Leaders of the Free World #2 is currently on Kickstarter with about a week left in the campaign. Issue #1 is available on ComiXology through ComiXology Submit.