This month a new series debuts called Hyper Force Neo. It is an all-ages comic book with an African-American lead character from African-American creator Jarrett Williams (SUPER PRO K.O.!). The creator owned series from Z2 Comics follows Dean Masters, a high-school freshman who leads a crew of tech-savvy teens in mech suits, known as Hyper Force Neo. Their Mission? Save New Sigma City and their high-school from the sinister, intergalactic vagabonds known as the Dark Edge. With the use of their Hype Suits, Neo Keys, High-tech weaponry, and over-sized Neo Mechs, Dean and his friends just may get the job done. HYPER FORCE NEO is an action-packed imagining of the high school experience we all wish we’d had.
A New Orleans native, Jarrett grew up watching his family work tirelessly to get out of the Magnolia projects, which inspired his own formidable work ethic. At 31, Jarrett is soon to have three creator-owned series: HYPER FORCE NEO, SUPER PRO K.O.!, and KNUCKLE UP. A mix of all the things Jarrett loved as a kid himself — manga, video games, cartoons, and TNMT — Jarrett’s style is loud and colorful.
“In Hyper Force Neo, you’re looking at my interpretation of the future, and the dynamics I imagine being commonplace in high schools in 20XX. Things like girls and boys playing on the same football team, not separate teams. Robots being fully ingrained in all parts of society and being looked at as equals. Kids being able to fully express their individuality in personality and fashion and it being embraced by their peers. I think that’s all pretty cool for a kids comic to explore.”
PopCultHQ is thrilled to be covering this new series in our spoiler-free review!
PopCultHQ Reviews Hyper Force Neo #1 by Jarrett Williams
and published by Z2 Comics:
Right off the bat with the cover you notice a few things that kick off this issue in a positive direction. First, scrolled atop the page (at least on the review copy I have) is it proclaims is is a 48-page Giant Sized issue. That, my friends, is so practical and ideal for a premiere issue. It will allow the writer more pages to develop the background and characters, ample enough panels for the artwork to be put on display, and a great starting point for the new reader in enjoying this first issue. I wish more comic book series’ would begin this way.
Secondly, the artwork. It is bold, the choice of colors is spot on, the images are sharp, the panels are laid out in a fresh way, and it just overall screams fun! Jarrett Williams not only wrote the story to this title but is also responsible for the art, with an assist by the extremely talented Jeremy Lawson. The creative duo give you so much more than just a 48-page comic book. Instead of simply reading the dialogue boxes and skimming through the art, your eyes are widened each page and are flooded with all sorts of spectacular to visually take in.
Third, from the cover alone you can tell that this is a kid-friendly comic book, but not necessarily a kids’ only comic book. With the futuristic environment, the jazzy feel to the characters, the choice of colors utilized, and the detailed background give the reader a whole mess of eye candy to scan. When looking at this entire cover as a whole, it evokes a sense of tremendous passion and pride by the creators and shows their deep appreciation for comics. From the get-go, I can tell this duo has a real heart for the industry and its audience. Something to truly appreciate in a creative team.
What I think impressed me the most about writer Williams’ story in Hyper Force Neo #1 is his vision. The story is a depiction of what could potentially occur in the near future as far as what it means to grow up in an advanced, technological world. The story, characters, and environment Jarrett has created are within the realm of true possibility. I love the insertions of a messaging service and emoticons to evoke people’s reactions and responses to this futuristic world. I mean, we are pretty much a society now which relies on texting, messaging, and everything in an instant. Why wouldn’t the same be said of the future? I also found the bios of new people we encounter a fun way to introduce the characters.
Despite the amount of robots, androids, you don’t need to be tech-savvy to appreciate it. I couldn’t help but feel that the artwork seemed to give a sense of a comic book reminiscent of Blade Runner with the city’s lights, the flash and flair, holograms and the overall layout of New Sigma City.
Jarrett Williams sought to create an all ages comic book and he did just that. This is perfect for the younger audience with its visuals, story, and real-life scenarios which children and teens can relate, but at the same time it offers something unique for the adult reader. A time to look forward to the possible future we will ultimately leave our children, but also a way to look back and reflect on our childhood and the parallels this future draws. Hyper Force Neo #1, with the way in which the story is told, laid out, and the art is drawn (colors, shading, highlighting, and panel placement), this could very well be the future of books to read children at bedtime. I can easily see a father reading this issue to his son or daughter and the both of them enjoying the story and bonding by way of this comic book.
PopCultHQ Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Be sure to follow the creators of this great, new series!
Jarrett Williams (Writer/artist):
Jeremy Lawson (Colorist):
You can pre-order Hyper Force Neo #1 from the online Previews catalog. The 48-page Giant-Size premiere issue retails for $5.99.
Jarrett Williams’ HYPER FORCE NEO #1 is due out in stores on April 20, 2016 from Z2 Comics.