Advance Review: The Secret (Identity) Is Out In `Torrent’ #2
by Tom Smithyman
Strong writing and unpredictable character behavior keep this revenge fantasy/superhero story an interesting read. While the artwork could be strong, the colors help to set the appropriate mood throughout the issue.
Having a secret identity revealed is most superheroes’ worst nightmare. Their alter egos protects not only their own safety, but those close to them. When a bad guys finds out who the hero really is, bad things generally happen.
That is precisely what happened to Michelle Metcalf, the squeaky-clean heroine known as Crackerjack, in the first issue of Torrent. After learning her identity, the villainous Skelton sent Skillsquad to her house. Michelle’s husband was killed, and her son was taken. Now she’s trying to get her son back – and seek more than a little revenge.
Crackerjack, though, has no real powers, so she has to rely on Captain Criterion and the rest of the superhero team the Praetorians. But the captain’s super-conscious won’t let him break into Skelton’s skyscraper without cause. That sends Crackerjack in a dark, new direction against the overpowered baddie.
Writer Marc Guggenheim continues to build an interesting tale of revenge, which consistently walks the reader down unexpected paths. He has created a complex character in Michelle. A wife, mom, and hero who has been pushed to her limits. Despite her impulsive nature, she’s clearly intelligent and can think through even the toughest, most personal problems. That perspective – combined with her lack of established backstory – enables her to make decisions that you wouldn’t typically find in a more established series.
Artist Justin Greenwood creates a stylized, if somewhat unrefined, look for the series. Fortunately, Rico Renzi brings Greenwood’s depictions to life with his colors. They start dark as Michelle mourns for her husband, then pop with more vibrancy during introduction of the Praetorians and her battle with Skelton.
Michelle seems willing to take her revenge fantasy all the way – take the title and the readers to places not typically found in comic books. While plenty of surprises likely remain, that should be a treat for the audience.
Torrent #2 will be available for purchase on March 22, 2023.