We last visited with Zach Thompson in the 3-issue online only Tech Jacket Digital mini-series which I reviewed here and really enjoyed. So did a lot of other people apparently because he’s back with his own ongoing series, not tied to the Invincible comics.
Is this going to be amazing or will Tech Jacket finally hit a wall? Read on and see!
In the original mini-series, Zach Thompson was a Peter-Parker-esque character, a high school student who got stuck with super powers and realized that with great power comes great responsibility. That’s really where the similarity ended though, Zach was never an over-achiever, in fact, he was pretty much a loser and getting the Geldarian power suit was the best thing that ever happened to him. His father, an unemployed goof, serves as his eyes and ears from a Geldarian satellite. When a massive alien vessel suddenly arrives in our solar system and starts moving toward Earth, it’s up to Zach to find out if it’s friend or foe, but there are other potential snags including the appearance of a new company, headed by Nicholas Crowe, who wants to have the Tech Jacket for themselves and their motives might not be perfectly pure. Oh, and Zach’s alien girlfriend shows up and brings very, very bad news. What the heck, it’s just another day for Earth’s Galactic Protector.
I must say, I really prefer seeing Zach in a completely solo book. When he’s shown up in Invincible, he’s always played third or fourth banana, how can he not when you have absurdly powerful characters like Invincible, the Immortal. Omni-Man and Allen the Alien running around? Tech Jacket simply isn’t in their league. The other thing, and probably the best, is that Tech Jacket isn’t a dark, dank and disgusting comic like so many others today are. It’s upbeat, it’s light and it doesn’t focus on everything that is awful in the world. It actually feels like things might go right once in a while and that there is a bright future hidden behind all of the immediate problems. That is such a welcome relief from all of the dark comics that I see so often. I wish there were more like this! Even the series “baddie”, Nicholas Crowe, doesn’t feel evil for the sake of being evil, he’s a complex and conflicted man who is neither all good nor all bad, he comes off as potentially misguided but he isn’t mustache-twirling evil as so many other comic book villains are.
Series writer Joe Keatinge is doing an amazing job. The story is tight and consistently interesting, it never slows to such a point that it’s boring, nor does it move so quickly that it’s overwhelming. He’s crafted a tale that hits the highs and the lows at exactly the right moments every single time. Likewise, artist team Khary Randolph and Emilio Lopez are about as perfect as I could hope for this book. The work is fluid and never feels too heavy or too light. I really hope these people remain on the book forever, I can’t imagine a better team.
So far, I think Tech Jacket is hitting all of the right buttons for me, it is going in new and interesting directions that I’d never even thought of before with regard to this character. I can’t wait for the newest issue to arrive every single month, I wish they’d make them even faster! Highly, highly, highly recommended!