Alters #1 Review
The world of Alters #1 is changing, a population of the planet is changing, changing into something unnatural, super powered. Naturally they splintered into two groups, heroes and villains. With change often comes indifference and prejudice, especially when it’s the civilians who often suffer the collateral damage of these new beings squabbles. And by squabbles I mean the leveling of part of the eastern seaboard for not joining the maniacal Molecule Man’s team of super villains.
On on the heels of Animosity, a book that I thoroughly enjoyed, Aftershock Comics dropped a book that’s story isn’t as original or interesting as Animosity, it’s actually almost Beauty and the Beast “tale as old as time” old, one that’s been nearly every X-Men story since the 80’s, and one that’s the basis of a large Marvel event called *cough* Civil War *clears throat*, but Alters #1 does cover a very hot topic right now. A strangely political topic that shouldn’t be anyone’s business but their own, and one that boggles my mind why anyone thinks it’s their job to govern it.
I’m speaking of transexuals or transgenders, because Alters #1’s main protagonist Charlie, is one. It’s a topic that’s somehow so controversial that I’m even afraid to write anything about it, the fear of somehow triggering some type of outrage from someone somewhere. But that’s what Aftershock felt the comic book universe needed right now, something less controversial as it is fearless.
So now that the whole “she’s so fearless” talk is done, how does Alters actually tackle to topic of sexual orientation and the thought of a transgender superhero? It’s surprisingly tasteful and not too cliche or tacky. While Charlie’s family isn’t exactly cliche it is quite “normal”: his dad is a manly sports fanatic who wants his sons to be manly men, his mom is the typical mom stereotype, and one of his brothers has been recently diagnosed with a degenerative disease.
The problem with this is I feel like I already know exactly how most of the drama will unfold with the family. His father will be in angry denial, his mother accepting of Charile’s change, his younger brother while being indifferent will be kidnapped by Molecule Man, and his recently ill brother will take a turn for the worst in the middle of it ultimately bringing the family back together. Let’s take bets and hope that Paul Jenkins, the writer of Alters #1, proves me wrong.
Alters #1 from Paul Jenkins and Leila Leiz is a brave new book that I’m afraid will fall on deaf ears. While it’s hitting all the right marks it’s not on a large enough scale to really change the climate of sexual orientation or bring the issue to the forefront in comics. Marvel and DC have their gay characters, but they often feel forced, there to meet some sort of status quo, Alters #1 reaches this niche market much more naturally.