Previously in Sparks, a self-published comic created by writer James Desantis and illustrator Ruben Mocho, the protagonist Ethan Hamil got struck by lightning. Now, in Sparks #2, Ethan is attempting to remember how he got home and how on earth being struck by lightning led to him getting powers.
My favorite part of Sparks #2 is actually Ethan’s realization that finding out his powers was pretty mundane all things considered. I appreciate the book and the character doesn’t take himself too seriously. Additionally, unlike a lot of superhero origin stories, Ethan seems less than excited to be called a superhero even poking fun at the “Great power comes great responsibility” line from Spider-Man.
As a character, Ethan is still a jerk, especially to his friend. However, his relationship with his parents and the implications of telling them he has cancer was emotional. As someone who is chronically ill, telling a loved one you are sick is immensely difficult, particularly if you are not close to them. This issue also dives more into Ethan’s powerset and his eventual decision whether or not to use them for the betterment of society.
In my previous review, I spoke about the issues I had with the art. So far those are not resolved and the panels outside of the characters are incredibly bare. The lettering does seem to be getting a bit better in this issue but the pages still feel cluttered with word bubbles. Part of that may be due to a wordier script. This issue does have a bit of a tone issue where it cannot decide whether or not it is a mature title. There are various sections where the comic is much darker and deals with very adult themes such as domestic abuse but it does not quite fit with the rest of the narrative.
Seeing Ethan gain his abilities while being chronically ill and knowing the upcoming emotional journey he has of navigating chemo and his powers has me still interested in the book but I do hope the art improves.
Currently, the first and second issue of Sparks is available online and in print with a third and fourth issue coming out soon.
The issues with the art have not been resolved and the panels outside of the characters are incredibly bare. Additionally, there is a tone issue where ‘Sparks #2’ cannot decide whether or not it is a mature title. There are various sections where the comic is much darker and deals with very adult themes such as domestic abuse but it does not quite fit with the rest of the narrative.