The Actual Roger #1- Review: Actually Awesome
Updated: Jun 27, 2020
• Publisher (Alterna Comics)
I've been sitting on Actual Roger for months now and finally pulled it out of my review pile. It's times like this that I really hate that I get so far behind on my chosen hobby because this was an excellent issue.
A few days ago I finished Dick Tracy Forever #2 and one of my primary complaints about that issue was that the comic was too simplistic and didn't justify the $3.99 cover price.
Actual Roger #1 is listed as being 29 pages and has a $1.50 cover price. It's well over the 22-page industry standard. The issue packed to the brim with interesting and engaging storytelling. It's not surprising once you consider that the story comes from Hank Tucker, the director of The Tick animated series from the '90s.
Roger is a normal 9-year-old kid who is at the age where he's considering giving up his love of superheroes. When he and his friend Clay investigate a meteorite crash in his backyard. He later discovers he has superpowers or a superpower. He can fly about 2 feet off of the ground. Clay ironically discovers that he can mold his body like clay.
Roger is eventually recruited by the government to be the sidekick to a real superhero Magnanimo. Magnanimo is a bit of a dick and may become a key player as the series goes on, but doesn't have much to do here.
Actual Roger #1 has a lot going for it and will sit with you long after reading. Roger feels like a real kid although I would have guessed he was slightly older from the dialogue.
We all eventually get to the point where we mature and put down our toys and pick up a basketball or become interested in the opposite sex. This is where we find Roger. He's an ordinary kid dealing with extraordinary circumstances.
All of the named characters are interesting and I was especially interested in Clay. We learn through exposition that Clay is autistic and I felt bad for the kid. He really wants superpowers and wants to be a superhero. What sucks is he's largely ignored by everyone throughout the issue.
I know the series is over now but without the benefit of knowing where the story is going, I wouldn't be surprised if Clay becomes a problem that Roger has to deal with.
The art direction for the issue is great. In some places, it's innocent in other spots its kinda unnerving, especially the scenes with Clay. Seeing him pull himself together was pretty rough while the scenes of Roger flying are humorous because he has what has to be the most useless superpower ever.
This is a nice introduction to this character and setting. Dollar for dollar you can't beat this series. It's simply amazing how much content and depth is in this #1st issue. Hank Tucker and Alterna Comics give you more in this one issue than Marvel will give you in an entire story arc. For $1.50 you can't afford not to check out Actual Roger.