Deon, the star of Ro Lamb Comics new series Scarlet Ranger, is your typical teenager. Fairly popular, a bit rebellious but smart. His family also owns Davis Enterprises, which offers Deon and his friend Paulie a work study gig to earn credits for their degree. And it allows him to keep up appearances when his family’s other line of work requires him to jump into action. While there is some action to keep this issue moving, I can’t help but believe it’s what this family is really keeping guard of, what they aren’t saying, that sets the stage for this series.
Scarlet Ranger # 1
“Inheritance: Part One””
Ro Lamb Comics
Writer: Ro Lamb
Pencils/Inks: Koi Carreon
Colors: Cy Vendivil
Issue one introduces us to Royal City as the 52nd Annual Tech Fair is taking place. Deon is there to check out some of the competitors to his family’s business. Right away I noticed how much Royal City reminds me of Batman Beyond‘s Gotham. There is a sterile, cleanliness to the city; which often means there is a lot of corruption taking place. The city also has a very futuristic feel to it courtesy of the colors from Cy Vendivil. Between the bright neons and the fact that this is the 52nd tech fair , it’s like Royal City is living in tomorrow, today. But some things never change.
Deon’s date with Critina is interrupted. There is a theft at one of the event booths, specifically Pillar which is a rival of Davis Enterprises. During this theft and chase, we get a brief glimpse of Deon in action. As the Scarlet Ranger, Deon doesn’t display any powers, except for maybe a smart mouth and making questionable decisions. As he pursues the thieves on a motorcycle, the Scarlet Ranger seems a bit like the Boy Wonder. His crime fighting tactics so far seem to be less about skill than enthusiasm. Though he is able to stop one criminal, the rest of them and more importantly their objective elude him.
Besides Deon, Ro Lam introduces us to some of his support cast as well. Most notable is the interaction with Deon and his father. This somber moment takes place at the grave of Deon’s grandfather, also a Scarlet Ranger. There are several traditional superhero tropes here. The visit to the cemetery; to honor the legacy figure. But you can feel the tension as Deon and his father have their moment. I can’t tell if his father is bitter or concerned that Deon received the mantle.
But while his father is stern, it is Paulie that allows Deon to be a kid. I imagine him as Alfred to Deon, offending surveillance, support and somebody for Deon to find clever nicknames for - so far Deon tried out Power P and Pink P with a thumbs down from Paulie on both. Koi Carreron’s characters may remind you of Boondocks, which ends up giving the book a great late 90’s, Cartoon Network Adult Swim feel.
Issue # 1 of Scarlet Ranger ends with Deon following up on the tech show theft. Deon has to honor his family’s legacy while helping his family’s business rival. I look forward to finding out a bit more about Deon, as well as the Scarlet Ranger lineage. So far only a few bits have been revealed. To readers and maybe even to Deon himself.
Head here to check out more information about Scarlet Ranger, it’s creators and to support the Kickstarter.