Idolized #4 is the issue that takes things full-circle. From issue #0, it’s been clear where Joule would end up–on the ground, with her new team in shambles around her–but not quite how. Issue #4 finishes the story of where, and how, and leaves the question of “What next?” open.
This is also the first time, outside of Ace’s (understandably) frantic emails at the end of #0, that the Powered Protectors are shown; these are the people Joule just might destroy. Not all are shown in detail, but Schwartz gives a good feel for Deterrent, Ace, and Mindset. I wouldn’t mind getting to know these people better—assuming they live. Well, Deterrent isn’t any too loveable, but what would you expect from a modern Batman expy? And he has a point: Joule’s not ready for the fight.
Along the way, Schwartz’s writing and Qualano’s images combine to hint that Jouel/Leslie is more aware of others than she admits, and wants more than she has let herself admit, either to herself or to others. She tells herself—and us—that she is focused on revenge and that she does not care about anything else, yet in issue #3, she knew what the other contestants valued and what they had taken from the competition; likewise, in issue #4, there are signs of a very lonely young woman who would like to let revenge go, but doesn’t know how. It is not enough to stop her; that’s already clear from previous issues, but it’s enough to keep the character human, to make her someone the reader can root for, and it’s enough to keep me balanced on the edge of my seat hoping that, even now, when she seems defeated, it’s not too late for her.
All in all, Idolized #4 was quite a read and quite a ride, and I’m looking forward to the next issue. What more could anyone ask?
Note: There is enough background given that I think it would be possible to start Idolized with this issue, though if you can get your hands on #0-3 as well, I recommend it. There is a lot of character development going on in those issues, and the end material is worth it on its own.
Who’s who: David Schwartz – Writer / Pasquale Qualano – Art / David Curiel – Color /Josh Reed–Letterer
Idolized #4 is in stores December 19th, 2012.
FC 32 pages $3.99
Aspen’s site: Idolized