X- Rated X- Men

SFX - - Reviews - Stephen Jewell

re­leased OUT NOW! Pub­lisher Ti­tan Comics Writer Noel Clarke Artist J Cas­sara

is­sues 1- 4 With the scope of the story solely in the hands of artist J Cas­sara, comics ar­guably pro­vide Noel Clarke with a wider can­vas than the limited bud­get of a film like Stor­age 24 or The Anom­aly. Echo­ing the con­spir­acy the­o­ries of the lat­ter, The Troop is also heav­ily in­debted to X- Men; it cen­tres on a dis­parate group of teenage su­per­heroes whose per­sonal is­sues are as sig­nif­i­cant as their bur­geon­ing abil­i­ties.

Adopt­ing a tra­di­tional struc­ture, Clarke de­votes the first three is­sues to in­tro­duc­ing his cast as they’re re­cruited by mys­te­ri­ous bil­lion­aire Ed­ward; this means that their bat­tle with malev­o­lent se­cret or­gan­i­sa­tion The Il­lu­sion doesn’t re­ally get started un­til the fourth is­sue of this open­ing five- part run.

De­spite the pro­mo­tion em­pha­sis­ing the graphic na­ture of some ma­te­rial, Clarke sel­dom lapses into gra­tu­itous­ness, in­stead por­tray­ing his ado­les­cent pro­tag­o­nists’ be­hav­iour in a nat­u­ral­is­tic fash­ion. Bring­ing to mind Jim Lee and Hum­berto Ramos, Cas­sara proves a per­fect foil – a scene where the wa­ter- based Tor­rent man­i­fests out of a toi­let is par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable. Chuck in some nods to Doc­tor Who and even Game Of Thrones, and you’ve got Clarke’s most con­sis­tent and re­ward­ing work to date.

Noel Clarke has plans for an­other five‑is­sue run of The Troop, as well as a spin- off se­ries called Girl 1.

She’s never go­ing to patch those jeans.

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