The origin story of the hero Sparks is not unique. Sparks #1, self-published and created by writer James Desantis and illustrator Ruben Mocho, is a down on his luck guy with girl and health issue. In a lot of ways, he reminds me of Peter Parker. However, unlike Peter, some of the situations he finds himself in feel somewhat deserved. The main protagonist Ethan Hamil tells his story of how he became the New York’s after a series of three terrible events, the final in which he gains superpowers.
During the course of the book, Ethan admits he became lazy both in his career and his relationship with his girlfriend. She ends up leaving him because he has become so complacent and lied to her about going back to school.
The book has moments of casual sexism between Ethan’s desperation to hold onto a girlfriend who is too good for him and his need to bother a nurse for not smiling enough. While the first issue does not delve much into the character’s new life with powers I am hoping that we see character growth from being complacent to an active participant in his own life but also in the way he treats others, especially the ones he loves. OR he can take another path and become completely unlikeable. I often enjoy reading or watching media featuring characters that are awful. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy Breaking Bad and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia so much.
The art, particularly in the beginning sequence of the book, is not strong enough to carry the drama of the scene but I do commend the team for starting with a cliffhanger that isn’t actually resolved within this issue. The strongest panels of this issue are at the very end. It is clear the creators of this project are big fans of the comic book industry. There are many easter eggs to other properties littered through the panels.
Overall, Sparks #1 feels like a more depressed Spider-Man and not quite a character I like but also not willing to give up on just yet. Sometimes the most interesting characters in media are unlikeable.
The first and second issue of Sparks is available online and in print with a third and fourth issue coming out soon.
Overall, Sparks feels like a more depressed Spider-Man and not quite a character I like but also not willing to give up on just yet. Sometimes the most interesting characters in media are unlikeable.