REVIEW: ‘Quincredible,’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Quincredible Volume 1 - But Why Tho?Quincredible Volume 1: Quest to Be the Best! is a graphic novel-style reprinting of the 2018-19 five-issue series written by Rodney Barnes, illustrated by Selina Espiritu, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick, and lettered by AW’s Tom Napolitano. The book is published by Lion Forge as part of the Catalyst Prime shared universe.

The stories of Catalyst Prime, and certainly Quincredible Volume 1, too, are about superheroes. But they’re about superheroes living in a very real world. Like other enhanced folks in New Orleans, Quin received his powers of invincibility after a meteor shower struck. He’s a nerdy kid with a huge crush on Brittany, one of his best friends who’s an activist. Quin wants to follow in her footsteps and help his city, but it takes a bad encounter with the police and a meeting with another hero, Glow, to set Quin on the path towards superheroics.

Quin quickly realizes, though, that being a hero is more complicated than just stopping bad guys. The folks in his Parish are suffering, from racism and poverty, from the lasting effects of Katrina, and from centuries of systemic circumstances that have put and kept them down. He can empathize with even the worst bullies and their crimes. And when he becomes a part of the system putting people in jail, he quickly realizes that his job as a superhero shouldn’t be upholding the same systems of oppression that would hurt him too. He needs to be a real hero to the community.

The dialogue in Quincredible Volume 1 is not great, honestly. It’s filled with too much terse description of what’s happening rather than letting the illustration or conversations show what’s going on for themselves. But underneath the specific words is an excellent narrative. The bigger moral quandaries the story muddles through, via Quin’s parents and the other heroes in town, in particular, are so well-conceived and absolutely shine through regardless of the word choices.

I appreciate the times when the issue takes a few panels or pages to allow another character to take center stage. The use of different color narration boxes to distinguish different points of view helped make it clear this was a one-off alternate perspective. It was good to see other characters’ mindsets because, ultimately, different folks’ involvement in the story was never black and white. Nor should they be because justice is neither obvious nor totally clear at all times.

The illustration is swell. I particularly appreciate the costume design on Glow. She has this sweet, almost front cape kind of deal and absolutely rocks the shoulder pads. I also really appreciate how emotional Quin is. He cries a bunch and shows his full range of emotions. The coloring for everything about Glow is really excellent. Again, her costume is very cool; I love the yellow and her black lipstick. And her powers, when she lets off intense light, is a gorgeous speckling of blues, pinks, greens, and every other color.

The spacing between words is a bit wide, and so are some of the letters like “O” and “D,” which is a little bit much upon prolonged reading. But it also helps give the illusion of larger text to make some of the large amounts of text a tad easier to read.

Quincredible Volume 1 is a different type of superhero story that expertly examines an aspect of superheroics rarely examined. It’s hard to do the right thing, but by the end, the heroes are on the path to figuring it out and being a catalyst for real good in their city. I hope that Quincredible, Glow, and the Catalyst Prime universe continue to tell more real stories through a superhero prism.

The latest edition of Quincredible Volume 1 is available on February 23rd.

Quincredible Volume 1
4.5

TL;DR

Quincredible Volume 1 is a different type of superhero story that expertly examines an aspect of superheroics rarely examined. It’s hard to do the right thing, but by the end, the heroes are on the path to figuring it out and being a catalyst for real good in their city. I hope that Quincredible, Glow, and the Catalyst Prime universe continue to tell more real stories through a superhero prism.