There’s something to be said for the special warmth one receives from comics set in your hometown, even if the time period, political climate and lead character present very different topographical and sociological maps of what you know.
ADAM12, a Wizard World Philly 2014 find, is the story of man stuck in the same malaise many succumb to as we leave behind early adulthood and settle into, “ohhhh, fuck, this is life.” Surrounding that trumpeting of servitude, Longo and Suders create a most probable tomorrow for America given our absolute lack of direction and societal ambition. The US government files for bankruptcy, the Chinese now own us, and class warfare is a literal manifestation instead of simply a news bumper before commercial break.
Adam has accepted this world, but simply can’t bring himself to live in it. Many daydream during their day jobs, Adam however is daydreaming of all his past lives. Nagging girlfriend, no problem he’s in Camelot. Boring bureaucratic paper pushing at work, no worries, there was always the Garden of Eden. These visions become more frequent and more vivid as Adam learns his visions are merely memories of his last tries in creating paradise.
There are many other kitschy Sci-Fi trappings throughout the title from mystical eggs of creation (felt a little like the Ukrainian blessing of the graves from when I was a kid), killer damsels trying to unlock creation and force Adam’s cooperation in the process.
There’s a lot of fun in this book and really the Philly stuff is just icing for hometown folks, you’ll still enjoy Adam’s journey through our near tomorrow even if you can’t tell a Pats from a Ginos.
I have but two suggestions for the creators to humbly consider for their sophomore effort. Suders definitely wields a more cartoon styled pen, which gave me concern after his writing counterpart described the dark, dire and dank world he had authored. It works though in keeping the book from becoming too morose. All I ask of Nick is that he keeps his pencils tight and true. Page 1, chapter 2 if you get my drift.
For Longo, I ask that he pockets a few concepts for future endeavors. There’s a lot packed into the pages of ADAM12, and while no concept was extraneous, I know I would have just been fine and dandy with a dude about to cycle through his 12th round of existence. Let Adam recreate the Garden of Eden in the here and now on South Street, because God knows we need it.