- Words: Peter Rogers
- Art: Luciano Vecchio
- Inks: Luciano Vecchio
- Colors: Yel Zamor
- Publisher: AAM/Markosia
- Price: $17.99
- Release Date: Aug 10, 2011
Posted by Andy Oliver on Aug 11, 2011
In the fanboy community, “scallywag” is something of a revered entity; an online guru followed as a cult figure by his peers. When the forces of myth and legend break into our dimension, “scallywag” and a select group of geek wannabe heroes are charged by a supernatural force with the task of protecting the real world from an invasion of dragons, goblins, and giants. Dreaming of being superheroes is one thing, though, will the reality of it prove to be something altogether different?
Elements of The Interactives’ premise unashamedly tap into our ever-changing relationship/dependency with the online world and its influence on reshaping the dynamics of our interpersonal relationships. Writer Peter Rogers’ hugely entertaining romp combines the disparate worlds of social networking, and those of myth and legend, as the foundation for a decidedly different take on fantasy storytelling. Echoes of Marvel’s Captain Britain are abundant; initially hearkening back to the good Captain’s origin story all those years ago (in the ‘70s Captain Britain Weekly) right through to the much-missed, and prematurely cancelled, Captain Britain and MI:13 monthly. Fans of Cornell’s latter, abruptly curtailed series will find much to enjoy in some of the similar themes of this graphic novel.
For anyone living in the UK, what makes The Interactives doubly fun is the use of so many familiar locales. For some reason, there’s always a novelty value for a British reader when any title on the peripheries of superherodom is set in our green and pleasant land. That said locations are depicted so recognisably adds to the sense of threat in the proceedings. Think how Doctor Who was always at its scariest in the 1970s not when it visited other planets but when the alien menaces were transposed to the London Underground system (or some other equally mundane, Earthbound place), and you’ll get the idea.
On the artistic front, Luciano Vecchio’s visuals gorgeously bring to life the mythical overtones of Rogers’ storytelling. Dragons over London will never look as evocative as they do here, and Yel Zamor’s vibrant, joyful colours are a perfect match to Vecchio’s layouts.
Rounding out the book is a short story entitled “Seniors” that, although slightly incongruous in its placement (I assume it has nothing to do with the world, or continuity, of the main entry), is a little gem of a backup. Set in an old people’s home, it focuses on the still extant rivalry between a long-retired superhero and his archenemy. A lovely little character piece, this tale is beautifully brought to life by the solid, powerful art of Eagle nominee Azim Akberali.
The Interactives is an OGN that, dare I say it, is the perfect entry point to comics for teen readers. At a time when so many of the superhero offerings of the Big Two have either forgotten who the primary audience for superhero books used to be, or are knowingly pandering to the comfort reading routines of middle-aged men, we need far more material like this. The Interactives is trying to be neither overly sophisticated nor sniggeringly self-mocking. It’s simply a rollicking good piece of old school escapist fantasy that sweeps the reader up in both its good-natured enthusiasm and Rogers’ engaging character play.
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