Hey and Welcome to the next Lesson in BLACK BUSINESS MONTH!
Today’s lesson is on Comic Republic’s very own “Might of Guardian Prime” created by Jide Martin, Michael Balogun & Ozo Exeogu.
This is the first product by this publisher that I’ve come across and, from the start, it gives me nostalgic vibes. Just by looking at the cover, you can see it’s a blend of penciling and 3D rendering on his suit to give it a more authentic feel. It honestly reminds me of sketches I used to make as a kid to make more Black Superheroes and, while it can come off a bit dated, I want to, again, compliment seeing things like this.
Even six years ago, the artist knew things about proper shading techniques and had a bigger drive to make art pop rather than two drawings meant to display 3D characters. It’s a step in the right direction and you get that all from the cover.
The issue is short, but nothing short of stunning. The closest and best analogy I can give it is it reminds me of the Gods Among Us montage in Zack Snyder’s “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice” AND BEFORE YOU UNSUBSCRIBE HEAR ME OUT!
I won’t argue your stance on that movie or its merits; I just wish to call attention to one specific scene – easily one of its best. There’s a scene where Superman is shown all over the world saving various lives will news personalities debate over the merits of his work.
This entire issue reminds me of that scene.
If it’s one thing that can’t be taken away from Snyder is his visual mastery of scene and Guardian Prime is second to none because of it. Through it all, we see Guardian perform heroic deeds just for the fact he refuses to stand by.
There are plenty of callbacks and homages to Superman as a mythos and I can’t be any happier. Reason being, as a Black man, we don’t really have a “Superman”.
Don’t get me wrong, there are Black Supermen such as Calvin Ellis of Earth-23, Val-Zod of Earth-2 and Sunshine Superman, but all of those, you have to go looking specifically for and are hardly brought up in regular conversation.
Hell, even on Marvel’s side, we have Blue Marvel.
Other than them, we have Meteor Man (shout out if you know who that is) and… Hancock. As entertaining as that movie is, he’s a drunk halfway through it.
We do have alternatives, but that’s missing the point.
A case can be made we don’t have THE BIG GUY.
Guardian IS that big guy.
Artist JIDE MARTIN takes clear inspiration from respected comic artist Jim Lee and there isn’t a better person to get your Superman inspiration from.
What I like about how compact this issue is without a complex, drawn out backstory – we get to it immediately. It isn’t jarring at how the story is told and you’re welcomed into this new land in the shortest, cleanest way possible.
Without words, you see Guardian for what he is through his actions, you hear his thoughts in the boxes and you know EXACTLY what he’s about.
“I won’t stand by.”
“I am Nigerian.”
Yes, you’re given the title which is meant to imply that he himself said, if not thought, the words “Guardian Prime”, but as it wasn’t given its own box, it can also be seen as him making a nod to God’s word and, given its provided information, I would be hard-pressed to not draw parallels.
“He is the perfect man, created how GOD intended man to be (in his image).”
Whether big or small, it’s a note that I couldn’t help but linger on and this was created over five years ago! I can’t wait to read more.
Before I close, I want talk about something else really quick – Comic Republic recently launched an app of their site. It’s the first time I’ve seen their site and, just from using their app, their work is incredibly user-friendly and remarkably easy to work.
Their actual site, for those who don’t have their app, operates so smoothly. All their work is laid out uniformly on their home page and not one link is out of place. I wanted to stress this as this was one of the best sites I’ve been to while researching indie comics and I cannot stress ENOUGH how great their work is.
If YOU would like to support
and read more of their work, you can go to their site at:
www.thecomicrepublic.com/ or their twitter @comicrepublicng or their Instagram @comicrepublicmedia .
Well, that’s all for now. So, until Guardian Prime gets his own show or Spider-Man comes back to the MCU, I’ll see you for the next lesson.
Until then, class dismissed!