This is the third comic I have reviewed from publisher Back Row Comics. Previously, I have done Revolution Aisle 9 and Death Springs, written by Brady Sullivan. This time, it’s Jon Del Arroz on writing duties with Jethro Morales taking care of the artwork. Jon has had a few comic short stories printed in If-X Magazine and Horror Haikus and future short stories will be going to print in 2013. Jethro Morales is a name I’m more familiar with, as he is currently the resident artist in the Green Hornet story published by Dynamite. So the creative team behind Flying Sparks has a good pedigree. I, myself, and all the staff at Blue Raven Comics are always pleased to help out releases from independent publishers and up-and-coming talent.
Chloe Anderson is your typical college student. Boyfriends, boy bands, and clothes are the most important things in her life. That’s fine by day, but Chloe has an alter ego by night. Meta-Girl is her release from everyday life, as she takes care of the neighborhood bad guys. Her unsuspecting boyfriend, Johnny Benvinuti, is blissfully unaware of her secret identity, but he also hides a secret from Chloe. He owns a coffee shop, but he has a greed for money. So he feeds that greed by fencing goods out of the back of his shop. Obviously, if the two knew about each other’s secret, it would be the end of them. Can they lead their other lives without their paths crossing? I very much doubt it.
Meta-Girl isn’t the best when it comes to fighting the bad guys, but she makes up for this shortcoming by having a wide array of gadgets at her disposal. Right at the start, we see her struggle to overcome a thug as she takes punch after punch, but, brandishing a stun stick, she is a different proposition. After disposing of her opponent, she gets ready for her work and, more importantly, to see her boyfriend. Typical teenagers. Johnny is starting to think that Chloe is cheating on him, as she doesn’t answer her phone or turn up on time. Little does he know her real reason for her irregular behavior. In his coffee shop, Johnny gets alerted that superheroes are fighting on his roof top. This, of course, will be bad for his illegal side-line. The story is really clever how the two are so close in one aspect of their lives, but so far apart in the other. Peter Mulligan is one of Johnny’s main clients. He steals items for Johnny to fence for him and it’s an uneasy partnership, but it’s beneficial to them both. Meanwhile. Chloe starts to think Johnny is also cheating on her, as he breaks off dates and turns up late on a regular basis.
Meta-Girl gets her crime fighting gadgets from Professor Fitch in return for help. We’re not told what that help is, but that will become clear in future issues. Johnny is on a bit of business, as he tries to sell on the painting that Mulligan stole. It all goes wrong when the painting is stolen from Mr. Frank, who he, unsuspectingly, is trying to sell it back to. Frank has pulled a gun on Johnny. He thinks this might be the end, but he has another secret that he has been hiding from everyone. Outside, Meta-Girl takes care of a hostage situation by taking the thug down with her much-improved Stun-Stick. Johnny is struggling in his own battle, as Frank has the upper hand. It’s time to release his secret. He grabs Frank’s ankle and shoots electricity through his body, killing him instantly. Taking a huge ruby from Frank’s smoking body, he makes his escape. Johnny just about makes it back to the coffee shop as Chloe walks through the door. He cut that fine, but all is good between them. Not for long, I’d bet!
I enjoyed this story, I like the way that both their alternate lives seem to run in parallel. Very clever writing, because you are just waiting on one of them slipping up to reveal the truth. Really nice artwork, too, as Jethro Morales sucks us into their world. So a good 7.5/10 from me for issue #1!