T-Bird & Throttle #0


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T-Bird & Throttle #0


  • Words: Josh Howard
  • Art: Josh Howard & Otis Frampton
  • Inks: Josh Howard & Otis Frampton
  • Colors: Josh Howard & Frank Rapoza
  • Story Title: Origin Special!!
  • Publisher: Viper Comics
  • Price: $3.25
  • Release Date: Sep 10, 2008

Captain Maddox comes home from a hard day to find his daughter distraught over the discovery of a comic book based on her dad’s origin as the hero called T-Bird. The comic tells a slightly different version than the one he told her. Is there anything else that he is hiding from her?

"As much as things change, the more they seem to stay the same." The cliche definitely fits here. Josh Howard changes modes from supernatural stories that seem to have a kind of vision quest to full on soft science fiction slash superhero epic. Between all the space battles and the quintessential meta powered origin, he still manages to infuse the story with teenage angst and conspiracies. These, of course, were the trademarks of Dead@17 and Black Harvest.

He combines those elements with the artifact power up of a hero and a sort of grown up version of Buzz Lightyear. From Moon Men to Star Link, he appears to have the lighthearted b-movie sci-fi fun in his sights and he scores a direct hit. He adds a hint of melodrama that makes for a space soap opera that would make Fred Wilcox proud.

The origin as told in the comic is as close to all ages as I have ever seen Howard write. It is still a little dark for the kiddies, but there is the feeling that this may be okay for the ten and older set. The violence is by no means graphic, but maybe more than your typical PG rating would allow.

Howard is a master cartoonist. His super stylized designs grace his often dark stories. The juxtaposition of a light line and his brilliant coloring makes for an attractive look that is still appealing despite its moody tones. Somehow, he manages to add a bit of sexiness to his characters that comes through the blockiness and minimal rendering.

The comic within the comic is illustrated by Otis Frampton. The Oddly Normal scribe brings a more animated feel to the world and its populace. He even manages to make the analogy to Buzz Lightyear even more pointed. It is a dynamic that sharply contrasts with the bookends illustrated by Howard. The slight differences allow the reader to see the comic’s story through a filter of fabrication. It is a masterful use of cartooning that highlights the story in a unique way.

T-Bird & Throttle fires on all cylinders proving that Howard can step out of the mold he has cast for himself. As always, he is worth seeking out and the inevitable wait.

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