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Writer: Dan Whitehead Art: P.R. Dedelis Publisher: Self-published

Ella Upgraded, issue #1, cover, self-published, Whitehead/Dedelis

This review only covers the a single issue, which sets up the story for the rest of the series. Because of this, we don't have insight into a full story arc, so this review might look a little different than my other reviews of entire volumes of comics.


A video-game-themed, kid-friendly superhero story. And it's fantastic.

It's got a kind of Big Hero 6 vibe. I'll go into that more below.


(Minor Spoilers)

Ella's a kid who loves video games, especially those on her old-school Game Boy (except not called that, because copyright laws). We don't see much of her parents, but we know she relies on her very smart, very nerdy older brother for a lot of the parental-type things. When she goes with him to a job interview, something happens that changes her life forever.

Now, she can use any of her games to give her incredible powers. But, one thing comics readers know is what comes with power, and that's a whole lot of trouble. This is the story of Ella -- upgraded!


  • Love seeing a girl, who is also a person of color, as the main character

  • It's such a cool concept that I'm sure a lot of kids would love to read and imagine having those same powers

  • Whitehead writes expertly, like someone who's been doing it for decades

  • Dedelis' line art and Bulmer's colors work together to create a style for the book that makes it unique and stand out without feeling too strange for young readers

  • Whitehead's self-published titles don't often have color, but this one does, which is probably a good call for a comic aimed at young readers

  • Ella's just so feisty and likable, you can't help but want to read more

  • The concept of cartridges giving power, parents you don't see much of, and a young kid with a brilliant older sibling may sound a lot like Big Hero 6, but reading it doesn't feel derivative or stale; this is definitely its own story


  • The word "damn" is in here, if you're worried about your kid reading that

  • There is no second issue for sale yet, so if you want to read more, you'll have to wait

Ella Upgraded, issue #1, page 4, Self-published, Whitehead/Dedelis


You guys. I'm a grown yeti, and I still loved this comic. Granted, I have yeti kids who I think may like this, but still. There's a very talented team working on this, a super cool concept, and an extremely well-polished first issue here. You should definitely check it out, especially if you have kids who enjoy comics and video games.


If you like the writing:

If you like the art:

  • 5 Seconds by Stephen Kok, Peyton Freeman & P. R. Dedelis

  • Spider-Gwen, Vol. 0 by Jason Latour & Robbi Rodriguez

  • Mega Princess, Vol. 1 by Kelly Thompson & Brianne Drouhard


Dan Whitehead – Writer

  • Often writes about, and is inspired by, video games

  • His background is also in writing about games and writing scripts for them

  • Has also written 2 official Star Wars books

P.R. Dedelis – Artist

  • Outlander: Hails from Poland

  • Moniker: Also goes by "Przemyslaw R. Dedelis"

  • Seems influenced by anime & manga

Abby Bulmer – Colorist

  • Outlander: Lives in England with her husband, who is also a cartoonist

  • Has an all-ages webcomic, Imaginary Gumbo

Jim Campbell – Letterer

  • Outlander: Hails from the United Kingdom

  • Multitalented: Also enjoys the art side of the creative world

  • Dream Team: Often does lettering for writer, Dan Whitehead


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The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.

All Dan Whitehead characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Dan Whitehead or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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