Suicide Risk Vol. 1 Comic Review

 “Super-powered people are inexplicably rising from the streets and there’s a big problem: Too many supervillains, not enough superheroes. Heroes are dying, and cops are dying twofold. Humanity is under-powered and good people are suffering untold tragedies trying to stem the flow. Beat cop Leo Winters is one of those struggling to make a difference. And the answer just might come in the form of two lowlifes with a dark secret.  A new ongoing series by award-winning author Mike Carey (X-MEN, THE UNWRITTEN) and fan-favorite artist Elena Casagrande (HULK, HACK/SLASH). SUICIDE RISK is a high-octane, mind-bending series created by one of the industry’s greatest storytellers.”

Okay, so let’s cut to the chase – if you like TV Shows like Heroes and Misfits, (as I do!) then Suicide Risk is absolutely, positively right up your street! Personally I love gritty stories about “ordinary” people who are inexplicably gifted (or burdened) with superpowers, and struggle to fit this new dimension of their personality back into their everyday lives. And this is not “No Ordinary Family” – this is gritty!

So the story entails a pair of beat cops who arrive at the scene of a bank robbery, only the robbers are superpowered. Police & hostages alike die, innocent civilians are injured, and of the two beat cops, Leo Winters barely escapes with his life capturing one of the villains, but his best friend John, loses an arm in the fray. It also transpires that a superhero was also on the scene trying to stop the crime, but was too outnumbered by villains. Leo starts to follow-up all the clues that leads to a pair of street dealers who are basically selling random superpowers – random in as much as “buyer beware what you get”. Leo brings the dealers down, but not without buying a power first. That’s the first act… next we get the main story as Leo comes to understand his powers, and understand that they come at a price, whilst at the same time he tries to remain singularly focussed on bringing down those villains who are also superpowered.

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But the story is not as black & white as that. The humanity of the story is watching Leo re-evaluate his own humanity and relationships – he keeps his wife and children at arm’s length, but then re-embraces his gay brother who he had previously ostracised because, well – he has no-one else to trust. Similarly we find that some of the supervillains didn’t start that way, but were just average people who gained these powers and then became corrupted by them. In the background there is also an origin to the source of these powers which  I wasn’t totally comfortable with in the context of what is a very good story but no doubt this will become clearer in volume 2.

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Elena Casagrande’s artwork is first class, and there is a wonderful gallery of covers at the back, including other artists. As I say, if gritty stories of normal people suddenly bestowed with incredible powers and no preparation nor guidance, then Suicide Risk is for you!

GS Rating: 4/5

GS Reporter: SilverFox

Source: Boom! Studios

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