Advance Review: `Torrent’ #1 Delivers A Strong Start To A Promising Series

by Tom Smithyman


Torrent gets off to a terrific start with the story of a superhero mom whose world is turned upside down. This first issue does exactly what it’s supposed to: it leaves you wanting more – and more now!


The world is Michelle Metcalf’s oyster.

She has a great job as Crackerjack, a crime-fighting hero who’s pretty good at what she does. She has a husband who supports her extracurricular activities and a young son who idolizes Crackerjack.

Nothing lasts forever.

For reasons that will not be revealed here, by the end of the premiere issue of Torrent, Metcalf’s world has been torn apart. Her happy-go-lucky attitude is a thing of the past as she becomes much darker and seeks revenge.

Writer Marc Guggenheim does a great job of defying our expectations at every turn. When we first see Metcalf, she is bloodied, bruised and armed for war. Yet she’s thinking about the PTA meeting she was supposed to be attending. Just a few pages later, in an extended flashback, we see the freewheeling Crackerjack happily dispatching bad guys while throwing out some jokes that would make Peter Parker proud.

There’s even some winks and nods to the audience as Metcalf worries about copyright violations when she declares herself the best at what she does or when she describes her own Fortress of Solitude. It will be interesting to see if Guggenheim can continue to use flashbacks of happier times in future issues to keep the mood lighter. It works really well here, and it would be a shame to lose them altogether as she embraces her dark side.

Artist Justin Greenwood turns in nice pages that resemble some of the artwork in Invincible. The heroes’ costumes, in particular, evoke that series. Greenwood isn’t afraid to get his work messy with blood and guts, but there’s nothing here that devolves into gore. Additionally, Rico Renzi’s colors clearly differentiate between the bright times of the past versus the darker realities of Crackerjack’s current situation.

This is a strong start to a series that could – could – establish the template for modern comic book hero stories.

Torrent #1 will be available for purchase next Wednesday.

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