Author: Liz Lathem / Manga Pasta
Status: ongoing but on hiatus since April
Optima needs new heroes… and who could be better than a team of untrained teenagers?
There is an island, called Optima. There, life is good. The crime rate is so low, you’d wonder why they need a superhero called Perikinetic. But hey, she’s cool. Turns out, she’s trying to build a new team of young heroes; but what for? Now, we get to meet these kids, one by one…
If you’ve enjoyed Kagerou and But I’m a Cat Person, two comics that I’ve previously reviewed, this should be right up your alley. Started in 2014, with the tools available back then, the beginning of Fledge Fighters can seem a little crude, but you have to put it in its context. The art style is textbook manga inspired, with clean lines, bright colors and simple cell shading, at least at first. The paneling is simple, and characters are easily recognizable. The art style grows and get better and better as time passes and the artist build their skill, and then, boom, chapter 16. There’s a big jump in art quality and we switch to a simpler art style, black and white, clean lineart and bursts of bright colors as highlights. This switch took me for a loop, but it was so cool to see it evolve, and it was so interesting to see the artist come through.
This comic is the first proper super hero comic I’ve reviewed, and I’m all for it. We start on the island of Optima, which seemed to be a little paradise, with Perikinetic, a cool super hero lady, idolized by most. For a mysterious reason, she wants to build a team of young heroes, despite the low crime rate of Optima. Then, chapter by chapter, we meet the kids who will form this new team; each has their own story, power, strengths and weaknesses, centering around Pace, a kid with cat like powers.
I’ve really enjoyed reading this comic; the premise is right up my alley, and who doesn’t love super heroes? There is a good bit of lore/context for the island, with some hints of xenophobia, which makes it all more believable. There’s great funny bits, and the mystery of why that team was created just grows and grows, leaving you turning pages without realizing it.
With 6 years of active posting, Fledge Fighters is quite a long read, but a really fun and interesting one. I was baffled by the evolution of the art style, and just for that, this comic gets a gold star from me. I’m eager to finish this comic, and I’m sure you’ll love it too, so grab a cup of your favorite beverage and get in it! The comic is on hiatus right now, so it’s the perfect time to catch up.
Would I recommend: Yes, for lovers of super hero comics.
Will I keep reading: I’m finishing it ASAP!
Where to find the author:
Twitter: @idmangapasta @fledgefighters