By Eddie Gorodetsky, Marc Andreyko, Stephen Sadowski, Hi-Fi, A Larger World Studios, Shannon Eric Denton, Brittè Anchor, and Coco Shinomiya
The ‘down on his luck superhero’ is an archetype that doesn’t seem to get old. Time and time again, there’s some part of us that find a little comfort and hope in seeing a character be so relatable. The Further Adventures of Nick Wilson does this nicely, establishing its titular character as a flawed person. It just seems to forget to have an engaging through-line to go along with him.
The concept of Nick Wilson is a twist on a tried and true idea. After experiencing a couple of years of superpowers, Nick is now powerless, a minor celebrity trying to live his life. And by no means is his life great. Stuck wondering about his better years, the issue focuses on how a person continues past this realization. But it’s not all doom and gloom, as the book takes these tougher thoughts on the nose, establishing a somewhat comedic tone that’s a little sarcastic but never mean-spirited. Among all the other titles out there, it’s nice to see one with characters free of the bravado and confidence that encapsulates most superhero stories.
However, this self-awareness comes at the cost of creating a plot that provides a sufficient hook to keep readers invested. Nick seems to just meander through his life, most of the issue affected by other events rather than taking initiative himself. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with a passive protagonist, the lack of a driving motivation doesn’t help in creating a compelling story. It could be said that the point is that you’re wandering along with Nick until he finds some purpose, but the wait to get there feels a little much to bear. The final nail in the coffin is the last page’s “reveal” that is rather anticlimactic, neither a surprise or an impactful development within the context of the issue.
Artist Stephen Sadowski does bring something to the table though, depicting everyday life quite well. Nick’s goofy looks and mannerisms are balanced with his more thoughtful moments in his apartment, showing off both sides of his persona visually. It also reinforces the dialogue in an appealing way. The few panels that demonstrate Nick’s previous exploits are appropriately mixed in getting across the morality of someone who had power, showing heroism as well as self-importance. The pairing with Hi-Fi’s colors are very reminiscent of a lot of realistic superhero series such as the 2013 relaunch of Quantum and Woody. It’s a palette and style that still works and goes along with the tone, even if it doesn’t stand out as much.
The Further Adventures of Nick Wilson is clearly geared towards a certain reader. Those that like more laid-back storytelling will appreciate the slower pace, even if its first issue doesn’t have that special element that will keep many coming back for more. As a five-issue limited series, it is a little worrisome if that can be changed quickly. Overall, Nick Wilson is rather interesting for what it tries to do, but its debut turns out to be a suppressed beginning to what it could have been.