From David Schwartz, the author of Image Comics series, MELTDOWN, and Aspen Comics, comes a brand new original (and creator owned) series as well as Aspen’s first venture into superhero territory. Spoilers are a definite in this piece, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

The #0 issue of Idolized reads like the trailer to a new TV show and surprise! That’s what it’s about! The story is set in a universe where superheroes and those with extraordinary powers aren’t shunned. They are as everyday and commonplace in the world as being a regular homosapien is in ours.

“Superhero Idol” is just like our world’s American Idol. Tens of thousands will audition with just ten making it to the finals. The chosen will then duke it out on national television for a chance to become “Superhero Idol” as voted by the nation. With a grand prize of joining the most elite super-group in the world, what superhero would turn that down? Leslie sure didn’t, but she didn’t audition for fortune, fame or because this is what she dreamed of all her life.

Leslie, whose superhero name is Joule, is focused on revenge towards political activist turned terrorist, Stasis. She wants to compete and win “Superhero Idol” for a chance to join the top-notch Powered Protectors, who are against the idea of the show and bringing a rookie onto their team. Although the team expresses their duress over the situation, the government has the final say as they are the Protectors’ financial backers.

David Schwartz has already drawn me in. I am filled with questions and have a wanting for more. What did Stasis do to cause such a deep hatred within Joule? How did she almost cause the entire annihilation of the world? What kinds of transformations will she be making along this adventure? I’m sure I’ll have more as the story is continued.

As with the rest of Aspen’s books, the artwork in Idolized is just gorgeous. David Curiel’s colors just shine off the page. The transition from bright to dark and back again, in correlation with Joule’s mood, sets the atmosphere perfectly. I am a bit biased when it comes to Micah Gunnell, who previously worked on Shrugged and Soulfire: Dying of the Light. I have been a fan for quite awhile now and he never disappoints.

Don’t forget to read those bonus pages in the back. Between secret documentation and a sneak peek at confidential emails, quite a bit can be gleaned about Idolized‘s heroine and her arch-nemesis. Even when the show has yet to premiere!

Idolized #0 launches with three exclusive covers: one by series artist, Micah Gunnell; a photo cover featuring supermodel, Rachel Clark, photographed by photographer, Michael Schwartz (the brother of Idolized creator, David Schwartz); and a limited edition retail incentive cover by longtime Aspen artist, Joe Benitez.

I’ve been keeping tabs on the development of Idolized since it was announced. I also took part in the Facebook polls for the outfits of each of the characters. I am very excited about the path that this story of Schwartz’s may take. Idolized has already kicked off with a vibrant tone and let’s hope that it keeps rocking that throughout the volume.

Idolized #0 hit shelves today, and Issue #1 will be available on August 8th.

THE GOOD: Enveloping story and beautiful artwork.
THE BAD: Issue #1 isn’t coming out until August??

Score: 9

Originally posted June 27, 2012 on Digital Noob via