By Ted McKeever
The feeling of isolation from the norm is a literary theme that most readers at one time in their life have identified with. The more time alive means the likelihood of the world passing you by increases. Ted McKeever’s latest offering creates a strange, mysterious, and futuristic world to emphasize the themes of isolation in an ever-changing world. The first issue of The Superannuated Man introduces readers to a place where the majority of the population is not human and what that means to the man that resides there.
The Superannuated Man is a unique offering in this week’s comic releases. It is the first chapter in a cerebral science fiction tale that relies more on theme and metaphor than action and technology. This is not a book without suspense and intrigue, however. The book favors a psychological thriller approach to the sole human survivor of a strange evolving world. This is the impression given after reading the first issue. McKeever does not waste a panel or page to convey that the world he is creating is a dangerous and lonely place for the book’s main character. The book’s title is not a reference to the character’s super power or ability, it is a reference to his status in this world. The Superannuated Man is a person of curiosity to the inhabitants of the town, living a solitary life in an old ship in the harbor near town. The Superannuated Man is the only human introduced and this does not seem to worry the character at all. Readers are given hints that maybe he should be worried, maybe his isolation is nearly over. Much to McKeever’s credit, without spoon feeding readers, the foundation of the overall story can be gleaned from this one issue and makes readers hungry for future chapters.
The black and white art frames this book nicely, and it is wonderfully reminiscent of the best independent and biographical comics of the mid to late 90’s. McKeever’s pencils appear to be lighter than his previous work. There are heavy lines used to emphasize color and depth while clear lines provide expression and light. McKeever has impressive line detail and beautiful backgrounds in each panel. The art and script are perfected synched, each are equally important in the telling of this imaginative and intellectual tale.
Judging by the first chapter, readers with a taste for something heavy and different will appreciate this book. Taking on such heady and emotional psychological themes is a gamble in a comic market that favors straight forward science fiction and action packed post apocalyptic tales. McKeever has crafted an excellent first chapter in a book that will make this gamble pay off for readers. McKeever gives readers the opportunity to explore the emotional and dramatic side of being a person who’s caught in a world that has evolved without them.