The Escapists #1


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The Escapists #1


  • Words: Brian K. Vaughan
  • Art: Phillip Bond & Eduardo Barreto
  • Inks: Phillip Bond & Eduardo Barreto
  • Colors: Dave Stewart & Paul Hornschemeier
  • Story Title: The Escapists, Part 1
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $1.00
  • Release Date: Jul 12, 2006

A young writer from the hometown of many comic book greats sets his sights on the classic character, the Escapist!

Brian K. Vaughan, Phillip Bond, and Eduardo Barreto take the Michael Chabon creation to new levels in The Escapists. A tale that began in the sadly cancelled The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist anthology grows within these pages as the main character, Max Roth, grows up, obsessed with his deceased father’s favorite comic book hero. Just like many other Cleveland alums, such as Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, he wants to become a comic book creator. But he doesn’t just want to write, he wants to write The Escapist. Can he do it? How far will he go to see his dream realized? If he does it, will anybody but us comic book nerds care?

Brian K. Vaughan is writing a comic book for hardcore fans. If you are a casual reader you won’t get the references, you won’t be moved by the same magic that moves Max, you won’t even particularly like Max, and most of all, you won’t understand why this is even a comic book. For God’s sake, Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain are quoted! That being said, Vaughan does everything right with this. Max Roth is a character we lifelong fans can all see a little of ourselves in, especially those of us with the same kind of dreams. The everyday tragedy of his life, his determination, unique world view, and nobility are parts of him we wish were in us. His obsession, which can be sadly creepy, is a part of him we know is in us. Though not without reason.

The art is what originally drew us all to comics and Phillip Bond and Eduardo Barreto know that, filling the pages with conflicting styles that appeal to fans of the modern look as well as the Golden Age. Since this is not only the tale of a hero, but the tale of a man who loves comics, the mix blends in a sentimental way that will remind you why you started reading comics and why you continue to do so. But the art, specifically Barreto’s, would not be what it is without the amazing coloring of Paul Hornschemeier. He has even taken the time to make the Golden Age sequence pages seem yellowed from age. Where Dave Stewart’s coloring is bright and realistic, Hornschemeier’s harkens back to the age of comics when they only had three colors to use, the age of The Escapist!

Did Michael Chabon know his novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay would ignite the imagination of the comic book industry? I don’t know. But I’m glad it did because no matter what the rest of the world says, the Escapist deserves to live on.

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