Nothing Man #1

Nothing Man

Staff: N.S Kane, John Rhodes, Steve Sprayson, Abbey Smith, Victor Munson, Acacia Munson


A fairly generic superhero comic with a glimmer promise still to come.


Hey guys, ScottyG here with another review. Today I’ll be looking at Nothing Man #1 by Scattered Comics. As you guys know I’m big on superhero comics and I frequently see superhero comics devolve into mimicry rather than originality and I’m hoping this one avoids that trope So, let’s jump on in.



The art’s solid. While the character designs are a little generic but there is a lot of detail in the panels. This comic is full color which is kind of cool to see on something like this. I don’t know if I’d call this the best art I’ve ever seen, but it does it’s job and effectively conveys the story visually. Later in the comic, we get introduced to some more interestingly designed characters and some of them have very unique designs but off the bat the initial characters we are introduced to are fairly generic. I did like some of the risks they took, particularly with the fire crossing panel boundaries to visually convey that they are linked and, simultaneously, that the fire is engulfing. There are some minor anatomical discrepancies on characters on pages but I’ve seen worse; you never get characters confused visually.

The lettering is decent but in a few places ends up squeezing the dialogue a few times either by placement or simply not making large enough boxes. This isn’t a major faux pas and is largely just something a critic who pours over dozens of comics would pick up.


Writing / Story:

The dialogue in this book is mostly expositional rather than exploratory; that is to say that it doesn’t really do much for the story, just restates what is being communicated to us visually. If you took it away, you could still understand what was going on. This is a good example of a strong visual narrative in a comic and, at the same time, shows a distinct lack of utilization for the literary aspects of the comic. Creators often forget that comics are a hybrid medium- that the literary and visual aspects need to be in tandem rather than simply supportive.

A side note: the narration bugs me. It comes off as rather pretentious and amounts to really kind of a superficial statement. It also starts off as retrospective narration and ends up kind of switching to scene relevant dialogue at times.

The story itself is pretty generic and cliche. It’s about a Fabio-haired dude who wakes up in the forest with no memory and super powers while being chased by the military. However, the setting shows signs of promise. The later parts of this issue establish a kind of fun paradigm between humans and superpowered individuals. Essentially that supervillians run have taken over and now run Paradise City after a clash between a legendary hero and them. It’s a fun kind of totalitarian set up where we are introduced to some, sure to be relevant later on, creatively designed villains.



Overall, it just barely escapes being that a super generic comic that I hate. On the one hand, it falls into a lot of traps that small publisher independent superhero comics often do (relying too much on the reader’s existing knowledge of superhero tropes, trying to do the big publisher thing with a large line up, etc) but on the other hand it actually tries a few new things. I don’t think this will be the number one, top selling, most engaging, industry-redefining, superhero comic run of the ages- but I think you could do a lot worse (actually… I’ve seen that many times so I KNOW it can be a lot worse).



Art: 7/10 [Pro level]

Lettering: 5/10 [Decent]

Plot: 4/10 [Mostly expositional dialogue]

Novelty: 5/10 [Reliant on cliches, except near the end]

Overall: 5.25/10

Link to Buy



Staff: Shane Will, Nicholas Garza


A ham-fisted attempt to make a Muslim superhero.


Today we are looking at “Brake”, a short, 7-page, superhero comic about a Muslim superhero (I don’t normally read the sales blurb, but I happened to catch it). This is apparently the origin story for a member of a comic universe (known collectively as the “Tomorrowverse”) by CK Comics and Scattered Comics. Let’s jump on into “Brake”.


The art is not great. it gets the point across but there are some wonky angles, bizarre and inconsistent anatomy, and it all looks very low grade. The scenes are empty sometimes and the poses pretty exaggerated even by comic standards. The shadows, though done in the standard high-contrast fashion, are more or less random. There was a point on page 5 & 6 (of the PDF) that I thought his costume had an odd fan-shaped pattern on his forehead as it is in 5 panels it is there but later on we see that it was just intended to be shadow- despite him moving and us getting several angles on him.


The lettering is not bad, but it was clearly done by someone new to the art. Sometimes the way the balloons are placed makes it difficult to tell who is talking in what order. A minor issue is that, since the site I got the comic from watermarks things, the bottom of the pages look like a jumbled mess because they place white text on the black bleed. Not a big deal, but most comics avoid putting things into the bleed for reasons like this.


So I give this comic props- it tackles a very difficult topic. The opening narration talks about how the teachings if Islam are bad being perverted by an group of extremists few and not all Muslims are evil. This is a very bold stance to take in the current climate but one I happen to agree with. If I can soapbox here for a moment, every belief (be it religious, national, cultural, and even philosophical) has their extremists and we shouldn’t judge the group as a whole for their more radical parts. Radicalism has little to do with the nature or teachings of the group and more just serves as the glue that binds them- it could literally be anything that meets a few criteria. However, this comic handles this delicate topic about as subtly as a toddler with a hammer.

The first page sets up the universe with a exposition dump delivered ala the news. The world is full of superheroes, the war in the middle east is ongoing, anti-muslim sentiments are running hot and there is a superhero named “Tomorrow” who is from the future that our protagonist is inspired by. Oddly enough for an origin story, we just get a few lines of narration to explain his backstory. He was in a car accident and suddenly he was invulnerable.

The dialogue is pretty heavy in this comic- a lot of “tell” rather than “show”. Honestly, a lot of the first few pages could have been shown visually rather than exposited about in narration (show some images of Tomorrow on the news, some anti-muslim rallies, give us 2 panels giving him his origin and power, and finally show the protagonist making the costume like we get). This is a problem with a lot of indie comics and indie superhero comics in particular. We are told everything rather than shown anything. For example, we get a panel where a villain pulls a gun and one guy yells, “Look out!!!” and another guy screams, “He’s got a gun!” but their poses and expressions already convey that.

Overall the plot is about as generic as it could be, relying on a lot of tropes of the genre. The protagonist, Bahir Azeem, got superpowers and was inspired by another hero to action. He is Muslim and I mean SUPER and stereotypically Muslim. Every scene he is either praying, talking about something related to his faith, or giving exposition. It’s like when a female character is in the cast and it is painfully obvious that she is “the girl” and that about sums her entire character up, except in this case Bahir is 100% defined by his religion. I can respect this comic for trying to give us a Muslim hero- but a cardboard cutout with the word “Allah” would have had more depth.

The comic ends with some sickeningly derivative scenes of the hero punching the villain and then being locked in jail 2 panels later and is followed by the generic scene of the hero shaking hands with the political leader while looking at the crowd waving one hand. This seems like something out of a 80s TV show, but it falls really flat and feels super stale. I’ve read PSAs and propaganda pieces that were more subtle than this. In fact- that’s exactly what this feels like; a propaganda comic. I mean I know it’s really just ham-fisted writing, the best intentions gone wrong, and an over-reliance on superhero tropes but that is what it feels like. Like a PSA or propaganda piece in that they rely on high moralizing and dramatics over any sort of substance. We are TOLD that the Muslims are being treated ill but we never see Bahir experience this sort of prejudice. The villain’s motives might as well be “to ruin Christmas” because it ultimately amount to “Because I’m evil!”.


In conclusion- don’t read this comic if you want a good story about a Muslim superhero. Go check out G. Willow Wilson’s fantastic run on Ms. Marvel featuring Kamala Khan or the New 52 Nightrunner comic. Both feature much more developed Muslim characters than this one dimensional schlock.



Art: 3/10 (Low quality but gets the point across more or less.)

Lettering: 4/10 (Armature but readable.)

Plot: 1/10 (One-dimensional and formulaic.)

Novelty: 1/10 (Derivative.)

Overall: 2.25/10

Link to Product