Writer: Corey Pruitt
Penciler: Elijah Isaiah Johnson
Colorer: Ross Hughes
Letterer: Toben Racicot
Those folks that have read a few of my reviews know that I typically stick to the Big Two of DC and Marvel. It’s just something that I’ve always known. Recently, thanks to my friends here at the Legion, I’ve been branching out and reading more comics from companies such as Image, Doom, Dark Horse, and many indie books. So when I saw that Corey “TASK” Pruitt was putting out his own book, I knew that I had to get a copy and give it a review. I enjoy interacting with TASK on Twitter and talking smack about many various topics. We all know that he doesn’t read comics, but he does write them!
The Leaders of the Free World issue one. Open the page and we are greeted with our heroes having already formed their team. But how did we get to this moment? Well, that’s what this first issue is for! I’m not going to give away too much of the story because I really want readers to experience everything for themselves. However, in this first issue, we get to meet a few members of the Leaders. Chief among them is Surreal, a teenager who gets thrown into this situation where he has to use his powers for the good of the populace instead of worrying about his homework. Surreal behaves just like a teenager from our society would if they had powers, complete with an inner soundtrack monologue. Also introduced are four other members of the team: diffident Brotha Nature, the multi-tasking technokinetic Tech-No, powerhouse party-girl Moonshine, and good boy Doohickey. Doohickey is hands-down my favorite character and he needs his own series immediately. How can you go wrong with a dog that can create all sorts of weaponry?
I am in love with this artwork. It absolutely fits with the story that is being told. The style is just really fun to look at. There is a mix of character simplicity and background detail that just blends so well together. To seamlessly move from creating people to vast alien armadas to incredible backgrounds takes a lot of talent. Additionally, Johnson’s mastery of facial expressions is pretty exceptional. I especially love the Black kid’s face on page 1. That face just kills me every time I look at it! Don’t overlook Ross Hughes’ work on the colors. They really pop off the page and complement Johnson’s work. Lastly, I think the panel layout is very apropos. The reader’s eyes can glide over the pages and not have to worry about the reading order.
All in all, I’m ready for issue 2. I’m excited to see how the story continues. I have several questions though. Where are the other three members? What is the threat they are facing? How will the team form? Have we seen the last of Florida Man? This issue was a great jumping point for a brand new world. It brought me a story that is unique and enticing and paired it with some great art. I really feel that this is an Image book in the making. Hell, it’s got better art than a lot of the indie books that I see out there.