Staff Picks (May): Metaphase #1

Everybody wants to be a superhero, right?  I know I do.  Righting the wrongs, stopping the villains, and being the one to bring peace to the world all sounds amazing.  Isn't that what we basically all want?  That’s certainly what Ollie wants, but his reasons go far beyond the regular “I want to help people” reasoning.  Ollie wants to be just like his father, the famed Sentinel!  Unluckily for Ollie, he was born with a congenital heart defect and Down's Syndrome, and not capable of going into the family trade in his dad’s eyes.

Thus, beings the story of Metaphase by Chip Reece with art by Kelly Williams.  Ollie spends his days hoping his dad will soon have a change of heart and let him be his sidekick, but unfortunately, his father just doesn’t think Ollie is cut out for the job.  His worries about Ollie's wellbeing strike a realistic chord for every parent I know.  The “what ifs” outweigh the “why nots” in Dad’s eyes, leaving Ollie no choice except to daydream and wait.  One day as The Sentinel is away battling a super foe, Ollie mindlessly scans through TV channels until he sees a commercial for Metamakers, the world’s first supplier of superpowers!  Is this Ollie’s moment?  Can Metamakers turn him into the hero he aspires to be?  Is he finally on his way to being The Sentinel’s sidekick?  You’ll have to pick up Metaphase #1 to find out.

This story is a work of love from writer Chip Reece to his son Ollie.  Just as in the story, real life Ollie was born with a congenital heart defect and Down syndrome.  Chip, like many people, had noticed the lack of diversity in comics, and wanted to do something special for children like Ollie to feel included.  This results in a family-friendly tale that is easy to read, and doesn’t make Ollie’s differences his only character points.  Enjoyable for children and adults alike, this mini-series about a boy’s struggle to fit in and find his place in the world is relatable, sweet, and inspiring. 

Megan Cosman

Publisher: Alterna Comics
Item Code: APR181245
Release Date: 6/27/18
SRP: $1.50

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