Writer – David Schwartz
Penciler – Micah Gunnell
The superhero reality show concept is nothing new to comics and Idolized does not add any major twist to the concept. The first issue introduces us to Leslie Linnell, a fairly generic and forgettable lead. She enters Superhero Idol in order to get revenge on the generic super-villain that killed her family. Leslie exposits her back story to the three reality show judges that are clearly representations of Simon, Paula, and Randy from American Idol. The issue ends with Leslie being accepted into the competition.
This comic is highly derivative with the show being an exact knockoff of American Idol, a lead having the creative motivation of revenge, and no other contestants introduced or explored. In addition, the story and characters are very forgettable. At the end of the comic I had forgotten Leslie’s name and had to look it up again for this review. I am not even sure if any of the judges have names and the only thing we know about the man who killed Leslie’s family is his name Stasis. Overall, this is a disappointing read that does not encourage reading the second issue.
The artwork is run of the mill. The cover features Leslie in her “idol” uniform posing in front of the other contestants. It is not a bad cover, but it is not all that memorable either. It is interesting to note that Leslie has a more traditionally sexy body on the cover than she does in the book. The parody character look like their real life counter parts and the few other contestants and heroes look fine as well. The backgrounds look rushed in some parts and more detailed in others. The one noticeable flaw is that the characters tend to have goofy expressions when they get emotional. There is such a caricature quality to the facial designs you cannot take the characters as seriously as the writing would make you think you should.
Idolized has some major flaws. The writing is so plain and by the numbers that I thought I was reading issue #0 by mistake, but I have already read issue #0 and that is why I was interested in this series in the first place. It feels like the writer wants to take the clichéd subject matter seriously, while the artist wants to parody reality TV. It really seems like the two creative sides of this project really need to figure out what they want to do with this story. Another book in this genre,America’s Got Powers, strikes a nice balance between satire and drama. America’s Got Powers also explores the motivations of characters on different sides of the story. Since booth books are coming out around the same time it is difficult not to compare them. The better of the two isAmerica’s Got Powers due to the engaging story and great artwork. However, if Issue #0 of Idolized is any indication then this series has the potential to break away form the derivative nature of this story. However, for the time being there is nothing compelling about Idolized.
2 out of 5 – I cannot recommend a story this cliché