Writer: Juan Ponce
Illustrator/Letterer: Matthew Gallman
Colorist: Jon Yuen
Editor: Nicole D’Andria, Steenz, Matthew Gallman
Publisher: Action Lab Ent.
WHAT IS IT?
World’s Strongest is a one-shot comic about 24 hours inside the life of Samantha Pierce. The comic is definitely all-ages, but I think the central theme of the book is going to resonate with the older side of the spectrum.
It feels like Superman with a little bit of Pursuit of Happyness.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Samantha Pierce is a superhero. She goes out, she fights crime, she gets beat up, she goes out the next day to do it again.
That’s not all, though. Samantha is an accountant, a wife, a mother, a person.
World’s Strongest is really a look at Samantha as a full human being, dealing with the day to day struggles of her life, maintaining a relationship with her family, as well as trying to protect a world that may not appreciate everything she does.
I think, thematically, World’s Strongest is more human than it is superhuman. It seems to be more about making it through your worst days in one piece, superpowers not required.
Samantha is the glue of this book. She’s so likeable and so admirable that you really are invested in her early on.
Character interactions feel authentic. The dialogue never really has a hard stumble or anything like that.
I think the pacing here is great, for the most part. There’s a few hiccups, but everything generally flows really well.
The family dynamic works perfectly. You can almost feel the love that Samantha has with her husband and daughter. It is excellent work.
I liked the cartoony nature of the art. See, the book appears to really be a children’s book at first glance, but, like I said above, I think this skews older thematically. I think the art choice here works super well because it feels disarming at first. You can really start reading this without the feeling of finding an older level theme.
Second note on the art choice is that it really helps land the optimism of the story. I think making any other kind of art would dull that landing, but the book is meant to be positive, and the art elevates that way more.
Really a big fan of the flatter, bright color scheme used here. It supplements the line art when it needs to, but I really think the bright pages bring out a lot in its own right.
Love the lettering. It feels so classic, and it just looks good on the page.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
The robot villain’s ending monologue feels a tad forced.
I really think the move should have been to give this story a couple more pages. The creative team handles everything well—pacing, characters, etc—but it could have done with some breathing room. There was a lot at work here, I think we could have done with a little bit more space.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
First and foremost, for Samantha. She’s witty, she’s clever, and she’s determined as all hell. She makes for a great character to get behind and watch as she goes through the obstacles in her way.
Secondly, because this is one of the most purely heartfelt comics you’ll read. The creative team really leaves a piece of themselves on the page. The ending is a real tug at the heartstrings, and you can just feel the emotion coming off the page.
World’s Strongest is the kind of hopeful comic you want to read in a time that feels hopeless.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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