A while back, I reviewed One Nation #1, a comic created by Jason Reeves and John Ruben Milton for the company 133art. The story was penned by Virgin Wolf scribe Alverne Ball , and turned out to be one of the best comics I’ve ever read. When I learned the book was being re-released on Comixology, I figured I’d give it a more professional read through; and see if it still held up.
Deacon is a young military man stationed in Kuwait circa 1991. He also has a secret and it’s not the one that the current president repealed, but something that would be taboo even today. When his platoon is pinned in a fire fight, Deacon reveals his gifts in the form of, super strength, speed and agility. With these, he tears through insurgents and almost single-handedly wins the war. When the U.S. government and its shadow cabinet rulers get wind of his activities, they decide to make him a hero. Press conferences, congressional medals and the name “Paragon” are perks that come with being the United States’ first superhero. But Deacon will soon learn not all that glitters is gold and that he is not the only one of his kind.
Alverne Ball is one of the best undiscovered talents I’ve had the pleasure of reading, and I say that in all seriousness. His captions, which are both emotional and informative without being expositional nightmares, do a great job endearing us to the character. The dialogue defines the character relationships, investing the reader in them, and though Deacon’s origin is similar to a certain blue boy scout, it doesn’t feel like a carbon copy. Reeves, Ball and Milton have not created an analog like so many others. What they have done is crafted a character with a sense of familiarity and individuality, using the best parts of classic comic mythos and making it their own.
Jason Reeve’s penciling style tells this story so well. His angular yet full faces do a lot to make the characters feel like living, breathing humans. His ability to illustrate landscapes is something I missed on my first read, but whether it was the rolling fields of Louisiana, or the dust blown battle grounds in Kuwait, it set a wonderful tone. Colorist Luis Guerrero’s ability to accentuate the dull lifelessness of blown out cities, or the calm of back country roads is a visual delight, and this art team is another reason this indie book has professional written all over it.
I am still in love with this book and I see it as a standard-bearer for independent black comics. I think everyone should be reading this, supporting its creators and maybe taking notes. I am definitely looking forward to the second issue because, my friends, this is how universes are born. You can buy One Nation at the following, 133comics,Comixology, Amazon and Pulp free publishing