Villains #1


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Villains #1


  • Words: Adam Cogan
  • Art: Ryan Cody
  • Inks: Ryan Cody
  • Colors: Russ Lowery
  • Story Title: The Shakedown
  • Publisher: Viper Comics
  • Price: $3.25
  • Release Date: May 17, 2006

Nick Corrigan does not have a lot going for him and, after losing his job, he’s got even less. Nick, however, has just found out his neighbor used to be a supervillain…

Stories featuring villains have been experiencing resurgence lately and as such, creators Adam Cogan and Ryan Cody have some competition in the field. So how villainous is Villains?

Nick Corrigan is not all that different from a number of guys in their twenties – he has a job as a rat in a cubicle warren and a boss who is rather a rat’s backside. After being fired, though, Nick cannot bring himself to tell his girlfriend out of fear she will dump him. A stroke of fortune finds him on the scene of a heist with masked men fleeing from the superheroic Flying Ace. Also present is Nick’s building superintendent, Coburn, acting decidedly suspicious. A little research turns up Coburn’s secret past as supervillain Charlie Cobb, A.K.A. Hardliner. Nick has a new plan for his future and Cobb is going to help him... whether the ex-villain wants to or not.

The main character of Nick Corrigan is, at heart, someone most of us have met at one point or another in our lives – a person who works at the daily grind doing only as much as he has to and no more. The thing that is readily apparent in Nick, and the thing that makes him a villain really, is his belief that the world owes him something. As the story is told from Nick’s point of view, the reader sees him constantly justifying his thoughts and actions on the basis of what he feels he deserves. Even his relationship with his girlfriend Sam always comes back to himself. This ultimately makes him come across as rather shallow and self-centered. While this makes his transformation into villainy that much more believable, it does not really endear him to the reader.

Nick’s girlfriend, Sam, could help to humanize him by allowing the readers to see what she sees in him. In this first issue at least, though, not much of her personality is on view and she does not add the needed warmth to the story. The good news is that it sounds as though she will be fleshed out more in later issues.

The real sympathetic character in the story so far is that of Coburn/Cobb. The ex-villain has served some time in prison and now would much rather lead a quiet life. He finds himself squeezed from all directions (and one of those directions is a surprising and intriguing one). Placed in a situation he did not want and did not ask for, Cobb is almost tragic and possibly the most dangerous of all the characters here. He is a man with everything to lose but possibly something to gain. A back-up story, which will run throughout the series, gives a little bit more information on Cobb’s past, which serves to really point out the differences between himself and Nick.

Ryan Cody is a relative newcomer to the comic book world but his art has an interesting style – putting me in mind of Michael Avon Oeming’s work. The hard-edged and uncompromising lines emphasize the strong tone of the writing. Cogan does, however, need to work on his expressions. There are several panels where the characters’ faces do not fully convey the emotion of the dialogue and Nick seems to spend most of the entire issue with a furrowed brow, glaring out at the reader.

Taken as a whole, there is a lot of potential in Villains. Adam Cogan and Ryan Cody have a good idea on what makes a person truly a villain. Unfortunately, what makes them a villain also tends to make them rather unlikable as a person and this is what Cogan and Cody are really struggling against. In the end, the truest form of villainy may be creating sympathy for the devil. Right now Cogan and Cody are trying very hard to do so.

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