Captain Kidd Issues #1 Through 5
Publisher: AfterShock Comics LLC
Writer: Mark Waid & Todd Peyer
Artist: Wilfredo Torres
Inker: Eric Gapstur
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: A Larger World
Editor: Mike marts
Review by PeteR
Captain Kidd, at first appears to be the fantasy most people over the age of 45. The initial premise is like a reverse Captain Marvel (the real one). The story begin with Chris Vargas’s 45th birthday party. Chris has reached that age when one’s body does not work as well as one likes. Joint pain, prostate issues, a gut that doesn’t go away regardless of diets and gym attendance. When people enter their mid to late forties is the time of life when their parents start to become more invalid or are dying. Aging is not for the faint of heart.
One day, out of the blue, Chris is suddenly able to transform himself into a super version of when he was 15 years old, who he calls Captain Kidd. Aside from youth, Chris gains the powers of flight, speed, strength, vibratory control and he can trail microwaves, radio and television signals. Super powers are great but for the AARP crowd, the opportunity to feel like you did when you were a teenager is the real draw. The downside is although Chris has the knowledge of his 45 year old self, he does not necessarily retain the wisdom that comes with age.
Time traveler, Helea pops in and out of Chris’s new superhero life. Sometimes she helps, other times she hints about the future and how Chris gained his powers. Helea also acts minimally as a mentor to guide Chris to fulfill her objective. The villain of Captain Kidd is Mart Halliday, wealthy business man and all around ass. Halliday is the embodiment of the worst aspects of the 1%.
Mark Waid (Kingdom Come. Silver Age, Fantastic Four) and Tom Peyer (the Flash, Batman, Legionnaires) imbues the main charters of Captain Kidd with personality’s that beg to be explored further. There is a sense of forlornness in Captain Kidd that is unusual in comics. The reader genuinely feels the weight of Chris’s age and the freedom of youth. Ultimately this is an uplifting story about family and self-forgiveness.
The art for Captain Kidd is provided by Wilfredo Torres (The Shadow: Year One, Moon Knight, Lobster Johnson) and issue #5 is inked by Eric Gapstur. The art is not overly complex or stylized. That’s not a bad thing. It moves the story along. The highlight for me was in the first issue where Captain Kidd (and the reader) see Halliday’s weather controlling machine. It looks like something Jack Kirby would have drawn. To make that even more humorous, later on in the issue Captain Kidd refers to it as “a Jack Kirby machine”.
Colors for Captain Kidd are rendered by Kelly Fitzpatrick. Just as there is a degree of uncomplication in the artwork, there is also a simplicity to the coloring. There were only a few examples of color transitioning from one hue to another. The color matches the story in that Chris goes from old to young and the colors shift from, say red to blue without any blending in-between.
The studio, A Larger World does the lettering for Captain Kidd. They have lettered The Spirit by Dynamite as well as Superman: Lois and Clark.
Why you should buy this book? Captain Kidd is the first comic I seen that portrays the actual physical and emotional challenges that come along with aging. This is not simply Aunt May needing her heart medication. Captain Kidd explores the frustration of aging. There is more to the series than just the age factor but that is what stood out to me since I am a bit older than Chris’s generation. My only complaint with Captain Kidd is that issue #5 was apparently the last one. It felt rushed as Waid and company try to shoehorn all the dangling plot elements into twenty pages. It’s too bad. I enjoyed the characters and would have liked an opportunity to know them better. For instance, I would have appreciated more information on Helea’s background. Hopefully AfterShock will bring Captain Kidd back in the future.