People with strange powers are being hunted down. The Troop tells the story of a group of them who escaped and banded together.
When you think of superhero comics, you immediately think of the two industry giants; DC and Marvel. But the thing is, in order to have broad appeal (and to stay true to their roots as a children’s medium) there’s a limit to how ‘adult’ you can go.
The Troop, on the other hand, is X-Men for grownups. That’s not a dismissal either; it takes the core concept of the X-Men (super humans who are hated and hunted) and builds on it. The comic’s narration passes between four of the five main characters as the story progresses. It lets you get a real feel of the characters, which is a solid start for an opening issue. The story opens with the first and, as yet, unnamed main character rescuing and Australian girl called Stephanie from an abduction attempt by an unknown paramilitary organisation. Little is revealed about them in this issue, but writer Noel Clarke wastes no time in showing us that they’re bad news; the first thing they do is shoot the family dogs. From there, the story swings between the rescues of the other protagonists and their backstories.
This leaves the issue on a fairly strong position as it ends. There is a strong feel for the main characters, even if we only know the name of one of them (we see a missing person poster for the young girl of the group, but we don’t see the whole thing). At the same time, there is plenty more to find out about them and the bad guys (who are fairly mysterious so far).
A first issue is a difficult juggling act for a comic book series; there is a danger of trying to cram too much set up into it. Issue 1 of ‘The Troop’ masterfully avoids this, giving us the backstory of the characters without bogging down the narrative. At the same time, I really want to find out what happens in the next issue, because they gave us just enough hints about the antagonists that I’m really intrigued about where this is going. An absolute class act.
Publisher: Titan Comics
Published: 9 December 2015