Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Under the Net

Under the Net with Jake Estrada

The Honor Brigade

Welcome to the 15th edition of Under the Net.  

I will be rating the elements of the book on a scale of one through five.

One is poor, two is mediocre, three is fair, four is good, and five is excellent.

Hey, everyone. I hope everyone is doing well. Hopefully everyone is having a wonderful 4th of July and I figured since today is a day of celebration we should celebrate superheroes an American creation at its best!!

Today’s review is of a small comic that has had a history of being printed and is now being presented as a web comic series. The book is in full color, and it is worked on Tom Stillwell and Brad Bowers.

The team is compromised of:

Toy Boy: A former thief turned hero.

Lightning Rod: A guy born to failed heroes and out to redeem the family name.

S.U.I.T: A half human, half machine and quite pissed off all the time.

Mystery Girl: Like her name, she is a complete mystery!

Deadeye: A cop who happens to be a ghost trying to solve the biggest case of his life, his own murder!

 Here is the line up of the series.

I only was able to review 17 pages, so I will do what I can with that. J

The Art

The art is up to standard for a modern-day comic. The cover has a huge smiley face; it kind of reminded me of Watchmen. We are introduced to Toy Boy in the first issue. The comic is full color, and I will say the comic came off kind of odd to me, and the art was strange but up to standard. It flowed fine and I could understand what was going on. The lettering captured my interest more, and I will say that it was done nicely, it had those nice effects, and it was clear and crisp. 


The writing

The writing, well with the 17 pages I did review, it left some to be desired. However, I considered that this comic was originally a print comic. The flow and pattern of the characters flowed better as the series progressed, and it wasn’t originally designed to be a web comic so it had the normal padding and stretching of a plot to fill out. That is one of the major problems with modern comics, and it makes it harder to adapt some comics to web. I was interested in why Toy Boy was messing with the rent-a-cop. In fact, I thought it was just outright mean to test his skills out on a poor slob that was merely doing his job. I would say it was very non-hero like and rather pointless. After I felt that way, I had to reread the comic book pages about three times. It kind of confused me. At first, I felt it was someone that worked with him and his partner and he was just testing it on someone that was employed for him, and later I saw it was Toy Boy breaking into a place where one of his potential enemies was located. I only say this because he then left a message for the Rent-A-Cop to tell Conroy he was by to see him. This kind of left me scratching my head, but like I said, it is the nature of comics where most stories are padded out to fill the pages. Of course, I would like to know who the enemy was and what Toy Boy was about even if that meant he was out to get his enemy for stealing his flowers, but what I got here was some sort of message to be delivered. I will have keep an eye out for future pages to see how the story progresses.



The themes behind the book reminded me of a Teen Titans book, but the fact that it took about 17 pages to introduce Toy Boy and no one else, I can’t gauge the entire book with what I saw. I felt that Toy Boy being a former criminal now trying to be a hero also had this Thunderbolts vibe, but with Toy Boy messing around, showing off his skills, and then having a Rent-A-Cop take him down for a second, did make me laugh. I think having a hapless hero who is not that superhero-like all the time is quite nice.


The Pros

The lettering and effects are good. The book has a very polished, professional look to it.

The Cons

I wish the action was faster and that the overall plot was revealed to the reader much quicker, because if they are trying to gain more fans, well, they may not get them. Considering that this was a print comic before a web comic, one is not afforded reading the entire product how it was intended to be. I guess I could purchase the actual comic to read it to get the entire picture, but with what I read, I would wait until I read more before considering buying the title.

My Final Word

The comic is a fine comic. It has some of the basic trappings of other comics we all have seen. I would say give the book a try and see how you feel. It has good qualities to it, and I know I will continue to check back. I think it shows great promise, and I am considering that it was designed as a comic to give you the entire punch in one sitting and not at a page at a time in this piece meal fashion. I suspect it will get better because it is a long-running comic series. J

The comic updates here:

Enjoy folks!

Jake Estrada

Email me at for website suggestions. Thanks.

Jake Estrada is a published author who holds degrees in Multimedia Design and Criminal Justice. He is a father to three wonderful children and married to his beautiful wife, Beth. You can find his comics at and other fine online stores.

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