Swag Patrol #1
Written by: Rubyn Warren II and Gabe Smith
Art by: Gabe Smith and Mark Marvida
Published by: Primal Paper Comics and/or FantasyArt Comics

Swag Patrol is another comic book title in the new independent comic book imprint The Powerverse. The title follows three young African American teenagers who, after being splashed with some chemicals, acquire some very awesome superpowers. They find a mentor in Dr. Tre who decides to help them hone their abilities.

Before reading the first issue I decided to look to see if Swag Patrol had any comics published before joining The Powerverse line-up. I found one which was a free download of Swag Patrol #0. In this zero issue writer/creator Rubyn Warren II first introduced his characters. I found that this issue, while not being essential reading, adds a bunch of background as it introduces the characters, how they got their powers, and the forces out to nab the kids.

The story was good for the zero issue but I was not a big fan of the artwork. Swag Patrol #1 gains a new artist with Mark Marvida, whose artwork is a much better fit for the book. Artist Gabe Smith is involved but only draws the very first four pages of the issue. I enjoyed Smith’s artwork as well.

This first issue occurs sometime after #0 with the kids training and finally getting some supersuits. Dr. Tre tells the trio that they aren’t quite ready to show off their powers in public but Mya (AKA Mindset), Rashad (AKA K-Swag), and Chris (AKA Blaze) want to get out, have some fun, and help people.

What they don’t know is some dude from an evil corporation is looking for them. He is known as Mr. Jackson and he owns JCI (Jackson Consolidated, Inc.). Why is he evil? Well he’s after the kids. The kids want to be heroes. So if they are the heroes I’m going to assume that Jackson is a villain. Every good hero needs one.

Swag Patrol is basically hanging out in their secret training base when an emergency beacon goes off. With no supervision the kids decide that the best course of action is to put on their supersuits, go to the building where this is an emergency, and try to help the people inside. Once inside? Supervillain! Will they save those in need? Will they defeat the evil Spark Fly? Will Jackson be happy that the kids have made themselves known? Most of these questions are answered here in the issue.

While the comic is fun it does have some problems. Sometimes the dialogue felt a bit stilted as the kids say things like, “Those suits are fire,” “Dr. Tre is trippin'” and “That’s dope.” Powerverse mastermind Vince White was involved in some script assistance according to the credits but the book could have used another scrubbing before being published. When you have a block crediting your Editor-In-Chief…

…it is probably a good idea to spell the title correctly. While these gripes are extremely minor it brings Swag Patrol down a bit when stacked up against the other books I’ve read from The Powerverse.

On the plus side I’m very excited to see an African American superhero team. Diversity in comics is very important, especially these days. So I’m very happy about the concept of this book. It is the type of book that Milestone could have produced in the 1990’s. Truly every comic out there doesn’t have to be a white savior book. There are already enough of those. Swag Patrol #1, with its mostly African American cast, shows that superheroes can come in all shapes and sizes.

Overall Swag Patrol is off to an interesting start. Hopefully as the series continues Warren can continue to grow as a writer just as his characters grow as heroes. Swag Patrol was really quite enjoyable and a welcomed addition to The Powerverse line-up. I’m quite curious to see where the title goes from here.


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