I got the chance to get an advance copy of Marc Guggenheim and Justin Greenwood’s Torrent #1. I’m not too familiar with Marc Guggenheim’s comic book work. The only one I’ve read was his run on X-Men Gold from 2017 which I found was fine but didn’t overly impress me. That said, I was a big fan of both Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow that Guggenheim helped create and develop alongside Greg Berlanti and others. With that in mind I’m excited to check out what Guggenheim and artist Justin Greenwood have planned for Torrent, the latest Image Comics series. Let’s take a look at how the series debuted with Torrent #1.
Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Artist: Justin Greenwood
Colorist: Rico Renzi
Letterer: Keith Wood
From a character standpoint Torrent #1 delivers exactly what I’m looking for from the start of a new superhero series. There are teases of a bigger plot with a glimpse into the very near future from the opening page. From there the focus of Torrent #1 is on establishing who is Michelle Metcalf, known to the world as the superhero Crackerjack.
Throughout Torrent #1 Marc Guggenheim and Justin Greenwood establish Michelle Metcalf in her Crackerjack superhero life as someone that reminds you of Spider-Man. She is constantly bantering when against villains. And her movements have superior agility to complement the energy powers she has. Even her relationship with fellow speedster superhero Slipstream is a positive one. Mixing in other references such as referring to her secret base with the working name of Fortress of Solitude is done well to drive home how Crackerjack falls more on the Spider-Man and Superman light side of superheroes.
Adding in that when we begin Torrent #1 Michelle is an experienced superhero who built an entire life with a family makes her stand out even more. Guggenheim lets the characters just act normal as we are entering this point in the lives of Michelle and her supporting cast. That immediately gives this series a feeling that it’s been a living and breathing world rather than this being the starting point of everything.
Starting things out this way made the events that lead to the person we see Michelle being on the opening page of Torrent #1 even more effective. With how well Michelle is established in and out of her life as a superhero Guggenheim turns that into putting over the main villain. The villain of the story makes moves that you immediately build hate for because of how evil they are. This in turn makes the villain clearly put over as Crackerjack’s worst enemy in her rogues’ gallery.
The one aspect that did not completely work for me is Greenwood’s artwork. Especially in the opening pages the art style doesn’t click as the art comes across as rushed with how sketchy it is. But while the art style isn’t for me Greenwood’s art does get better the deeper we get into Torrent #1. There are many instances where Greenwood’s art reminds me of Cory Walker’s artwork from Invincible. With what we get in the second half of Torrent #1 I am looking forward to how Greenwood’s art style progresses as the world-building continues in this series.
Torrent #1 is a great start to the newest superhero series on the market. Marc Guggenheim and Justin Greenwood craft a compelling narrative around the series lead, Michelle Metcalf. With how this first issue ended I am hooked and looking forward to reading more.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10