cover image Defex, Volume 1

Defex, Volume 1

Marv Wolfman, Devil's Due Publishing, . . Devil's Due, $14.95 (144pp) ISBN 978-1-932796-37-7

Attitude counts for more than accomplishment in this launch of a new team of young superheroes. When the teacher of a college biology class picks five students for a class project and assigns them to work in a secret, high-tech lab, the unsuspecting kids design an experiment to inject nanotubes that could release latent human abilities. Later, they wake up to discover that they have used themselves as guinea pigs and each of them has developed a different disturbing physical or mental power—and they're wanted by agents of adult authority. It's obvious the kids were duped by the grownups around them, especially by a super-secret organization called the Black Ring that plots to speed up human evolution for its own ends. This story finds the five learning to control their abilities despite the significant personal baggage they're coping with. They must also learn to trust one another, which is difficult since their various powers involve such things as reading minds and influencing each other via pheromones. That makes for a fairly intriguing situation, but Caselli's confusing layouts and uninspired characterization make the story hard to follow. Overly familiar situations and trite characterizations make this a less than dazzling debut. (June)