What do you do with teenagers who have untapped potential? Well, Maximum High from Kickstart Comics (NOT Kickstarter!), one of my favorite comics companies, provides an interesting option on how to handle this sticky situation when it arrives in comics shops this Wednesday.
Here’s the description: “A group of gifted yet criminal teens are plucked out of the court system to attend an ‘alternative’ high school. At this mysterious, mountaintop school, the students are not taught math, science or English but the trade of covert warfare. When their missions take a dark turn, the teens learn the hard truth that things are not what they seem.” Created by Chad & Dara Creasey (Pushing Daisies, Sydney White), with script/art by Mark Haven Britt, probably best known for Full Color from Image Comics.
I know I just pointed this out in my Duplicate preview, but it bears repeating! I love Kickstart’s product because they create something that’s unique. While most comics are part of an endlessly ongoing storyline to get you to come back next month, this company almost always makes books that are self-contained stories, so really anything can happen by the end of the book. I love that!
Derek Jasinski, who goes by the name “Trent,” is in trouble. He’s been caught sleeping with his boss’s girl friend, then steals a police motorcycle to get away. He doesn’t get far, and while in custody, he’s presented with a choice he can’t refuse – join an organization that will help him develop his talents while keeping him out of jail. What’s a bad boy to do? Of course, he goes to Maximum High! (I love the name of that place, by the way!)
As the new kid in the place, he makes both friends and enemies. He slowly learns how to get along with his instructors and his fellow students. But when he discovers that everything about his situation isn’t what it seems, he has to use his new-found training to resolve things … or else!
This graphic novel could be a great teen flick or a show on The CW, really! It’s got angst, sexual tension and fast-paced action that keep the reader on the edge of his or her seat. I’m not always a fan of teen stories, but this one grabbed me and wouldn’t let go until I got to the last page!
The Creaseys’ main concept is a strong one, and I think it will appeal to both teen and adult (in a good way) readers. Britt’s script/art utilizes that concept well, and translates it into a powerful, moving adventure that I enjoyed tremendously!
If you didn’t read my recent Duplicate review, I need to point this out again! One “big” change in this comic from previous Kickstart releases is that the size has increased. “Our books will still be 96 pages of graphic novel content,” said Managing Editor Samantha Shear during an interview with Newsarama,” but we will be increasing the books size to a more traditional comic size. We will still be bringing the same great storytelling for the same price point of $8.99.” So you get the same great story in a bigger volume! What more could you want?
Maximum High will engage any reader on several levels with its dynamic storytelling and its ability to appeal to all ages with its action and vibrant characters! Don’t miss it!