I am really far behind with dealing with comic book releases - and apparently they’re releasing MORE of the ruddy things tomorrow. So okay, let’s me take a look at Takio, the only All-Ages book being released by Marvel’s Icon imprint, and only a few weeks late. Sitting next to The Secret Service and, one would assume, Powers; Takio is the story of two adoptive sisters who both gain super-powers and decide to become heroes. It’s a very simple origin, but it’s simple because it almost always works. Here, again, the background fits the characters and doesn’t detract from anything else either writer Brian Michael Bendis nor artist Michael Avon Oeming are creating here.
And the book is fine, it’s perfectly reasonable. It feels a little like Bendis wrote a first draft and then didn’t go back to redraft - but there’s a charm in that, as the dialogue is a little ramshackle. The jokes certainly need polishing, and the timing is off. That’s in part because Bendis has always subscribed to a “realist” writing style, in which characters interrupt each other, ask to hear things again, or change their train or thought partway through a the art is nice. Again, Oeming’s work feels functional rather than stylish, but he gets across the beats of the story just fine.
Have to be honest here though - from what I’ve read, the story feels very similar to the very first arc of Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man. Back in those days, Peter Parker was in high school with best friend Harry Osborn, and Harry’s dad was a manipulative evil scientist who wanted to use chemicals to create soldiers. In Takio, one of the two girls’ father is a scientist (not so evil, although he works for a crook) who is using chemicals to, uh, create soldiers. It’s just a small similarity to pick up on right now, and hopefully Bendis is looking to move away.
I did enjoy how the antivillain of the story was KellySue DeConnick, however.
Takio is a decent comic, but doesn’t feel like the strongest work of either creator. I laud them for the commitment to creating a book anyone can read and enjoy, and for doing a good job of it. But Takio currently meanders, and I really want to see it kick the spurs in and accelerate into something brilliant. Ultimate Spider-Man took a few arcs too, so I’m hopeful for the future of the title.