COMIC REVIEW: Halcyon and Tenderfoot – Issue 1

Last year was huge for Daniel Clifford. He saw his first comic book Sugar Glider be released to critical and commercial success. He managed to top it with issue two as well as announcing that with artist Lee Robinson he would be forming Art Heroes, a comic book publisher. It was a daring choice, leaving one character that had been successful to start a fresh with new series Halcyon and Tenderfoot. The scheduling was to be tough too: with Art Heroes planning on releasing four issues a year of their ongoing title. So issue one has arrived of Halcyon and Tenderfoot and thankfully it does not disappoint.

Halcyon and Tenderfoot issue 0 introduced the father/son team showing how Tenderfoot became a hero. Halcyon and Tenderfoot issue 1 builds on this. Halcyon is a Golden Age hero who does not like what has happened to superheroes: he believes that they should always still do the right thing and not use lethal methods. The reader will get the impression that Clifford agrees with this. It has a Batman and Robin feel with the teacher training his student yet at the same time it manages to feel totally fresh.

The story is tight, and fun. More importantly in a time where comics are obsessed with making them for the adult audience only, Clifford and Robinson succeed in making this a fun comic for anyone. It has that Toy Story vibe to it: an eight year old will love it but so will an eighteen year old for differing reasons.

Lee Robinson’s brilliant art has come on leaps and bounds since issue 0. There are certain points where the reader will look in awe. For example the shading of page eleven, the clever panel structure on page fourteen, and the final panel on page sixteen is simply stunning.Robinson is a talent for the future as his characters look like something that has come out of a blender of The Incredibles and DC’s animated adventures.

On Twitter, Clifford has promised that the end will amaze you and that this is just the first of many shock twists we will get with this series. Halcyon and Tenderfoot does not let us down here. The twist is definitely enough to bring the reader back for more. One worry is where the story will go next. John Lees, writer of The Standard, had this possible problem also and showed that it can be solved. But it does mean that Clifford and Robinson are going to have to keep to their promise, coming up with something even bigger and better next time?

Overall Halcyon and Tenderfoot is the difficult second album for Daniel Clifford. But he seems to make it look effortless as his top quality comics continue. Lee Robinson’s art is stunning and compliments the story perfectly. With a killer ending that is bound to bring the reader back it is only down to Clifford and Robinson now to make any wrong steps. From what we have seen from them so far I doubt that is going to happen – it was a thoroughly enjoyable first issue.

GS Rating: 4/5
GS Reporter: Luke Halsall

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