Writer and Letterer Adem Kiamil
Artist Ton Lima
Colorist Derek Dow
Whenever I hear about a comic that features any sort of power, mutation, or special ability that’s generally on lock from the big two I automatically look for what sets the book apart. Category Zero holds similarities to X-Men and other Marvel heroes but what stands out is the character development that starts on the human level. There are children, teens, and adults who’s journey and lives Kiamil invite us into and the wide range of characters is something that has appeal to me as well as a mass and diverse audience. By introducing characters and giving the readers a baseline of emotional connection Kiamil doesn’t need to rely on the powers and abilities that he introduced later. Because Kiamil does the characters exceptionally well the introduction of powers and abilities is wisely used as a plot point and woven into the story through, no spoilers, an entity instead of a person. As I said before, there are things that remind me of well established comics, but Category Zero is so well done that the similarities are only slight, making Category Zero super original in story. Despite the presence of powers and abilities the story is very grounded and sensible, most of the characters only use their powers when they need to, and in some cases they don’t even know what they can do or how to do it. The way Kiamil blends the character development and power development is what makes Category Zero such a fun read.
When it comes to the art of a comic book, especially when specific powers are in play, the art can make or break the book. Lima started to reveal powers in quick simple ways, eyes going white, a kid that changes colors, but eventually things get real crazy and a couple of people reveal they have electric and cold powers. The electricity and cold powers are revealed in a seriously ferocious fight scene that’s both well written and magnificently drawn. Lima starts by laying out panels with proportions that give the most weight to the best panels, the page I like the most has two power reveals with the characters that have electric and cold powers. Both reveals are picturesque and perfectly framed. These reveals aren’t until issue three but what that means is that Lima is a key component to the character development because I was already invested in these characters and the amazing panels are just icing on the cake. Overall Lima’s gorgeous art wouldn’t be so amazing without Dow’s coloring. Dow can do it all; he has light and dark shades, with a large spectrum colors, and all of the characteristics of people are unique and well chosen colors. The spectrum of skin color used for people goes from white to black folks and everything in between, same with hair and clothes, even backgrounds are unique and put together with care.
If Category Zero sounds like something you would like to check out head over to Scout Comics Website or head to your LCS!