Danger Club, Vol. 1: Death by Landry Q. Walker is perhaps the most obvious, overt, and blatant kidnapping of comic book characters (in this one it would be DC’s Teen Titans) and subverting them for your own perverse and nefarious imaginings that I have come across in some time! And the Comic Book world at large should love Walker for that! For in one fell swoop he has done what DC has failed to do with these characters in over five decades. He made them relevant. He made them fun. Landry Q. Walker made them worth reading.
Welcome to the Danger Club.
“…Three months ago.
The Universe was in deadly peril. The world’s greatest heroes were summoned into space to battle reality’s ultimate evil.
Our Mentors. Our Guardians. Our Parents. Our Teachers.
And they didn’t come back…”
The grown ups are gone and all that is left to take care of the Earth are the sidekicks. Teenagers who have always followed and now are left with the responsibility of leading. At the core are Kid Vigilante (Robin?) and Apollo (Superboy), two teen superheroes who have both lost there mentors. But they have taken very different paths after the loss of their elders. Apollo now believes himself a God and has decided that the new superhero team that follows him must battle each other in an arena to earn their place at his side. Kid Vigilante, well that just doesn’t work for him.
But defeating Apollo is only the first challenge that faces Kid Vigilante. For there is a bigger menace that remains behind. For what took his mentor, what took all the heroes, is still out there in space. But is the real danger in space, or much closer to home.
Some comic book lovers will take issue with Landry’s use of already well known characters. The different costume and different names only thinly veils the true identities of these teen superheroes. I mean seriously, glasses and slicked back hair may have fooled Metropolis but comic book readers at large will easily recognize these characters. But what is lacked in the originality of the characters themselves is piled upon with heaps of storytelling and originality in the challenges facing these characters. I mean Kid Vigilante pulling the plug on his own brother. The beat down he gives Apollo, well deserved by the way. The dialogue as he beats the living crap out of the demi-god?
“…You remember the old days Apollo?
When we were friends?
Neither do I…”
That is not Robin. That is Batman. Which begs the question. What would have happened to Dick Grayson if Bruce Wayne had been taken from him. Would he possibly have become an even darker, Dark Knight?
The end result is a very entertaining and enjoyable book. Walker treats his teenage characters seriously and by removing the adult superheroes cast them in a light that DC and Marvel rarely affords their young protégés in tights.
Of course, this being an Image title, there is considerable violence and bloodshed. But that is simply the result of the tale being told and not the prevailing factor to reading this book. You should read this book because it is simply just that damn good.