Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Steamworks: Street Team Issue #0 Review

Hey Gang,

So I know it's been awhile since I've posted. In case you didn't see on the news somewhere (or in case you simply don't care about the news), there was a huge surprise thunderstorm on the northeast coast. Long story short, I was left with no power for two and a half days.

Getting onto business, JD, Chazz, and I headed out to a small Philadelphia Comic Con for local comic vendors to sell some products and make some nice profit. They had a bunch of really cool stuff, and each of us even got 5 free comics just for being within the first one hundred people to pay admission (although I gave most of those to JD). I got three really awesome posters that I plan to hang in my room (one of Nightwing, one of Spiderman, and one of Batman; I was going to post pictures on this post, but I couldn't find any good ones on the internet and I didn't feel like unraveling them yet again, so I'll post pictures when I hang them). So while we're walking around the room, we stumble across a cool guy named Shawn Alleyne. Alleyne and a team of 3 other artists (Stanley Weaver, Joesph Currie, and James Mason) brought toogether their heroes that they draw solo and made The Street Team, which consists of Stalker and his dog Bear, Aaron, Tiger, Blackbird, and Dodger. For a great bundle price, I picked up this comic, a poster of the front cover, a concept art post of The Street Team together, and a signed picture of Aaron, Alleyne's character. So today I'll be reviewing Street Team Issue #0.

Honestly, there aren't many things I dislike about the comic, but the opening is a little cliche and annoying simply because it's just like every comic. A "Breaking News" message flashes on a news channel as we tune into an anchor reporting on an attack of a police station. If the producers/writers/artists/team of people that make The Street Team is reading this, I'd like to ask that you please take this as constructive criticism before I go further. If you're introducing a brand new set of heroes (ok, so they may not be brand new, but they certainly are for mainstream readers), you have to make your comic stand out from all the other ones out there. Don't open with a cliche and overused intro, because that only bores your readers because they've heard it all before (the same goes for books, movies, music, and any other outlet of media). A good example of a "different" and unique intro is in Batman: The Dark Knight; the opening bank robbing scene is fantastic. While it may be common to open with spotlighting the villain, we saw it from a different perspective; we followed the villain through his crime. While it wasn't the first time this has ever been done, it was certainly different than most hero movies.

The intro to the comic does pick up the slack though, particularly when things start to explode, and when the main villain, Oguun, wrecks havoc in the city. I found this to be a particularly exciting scene. I did not like the introduction to the heroes. The heroes are introduced taking care of shit in their own cities, getting a call, and taking off from whatever they were doing. These scenes are being narrated by Stalker, but Tiger was the first of them shown, so the whole time I was imagining Tiger narrating until I realized it had to be Stalker when he came last. The whole setup is also a bit cliche, however I must say I do like the tiny bit of back story between Dodger and Stalker and the inter-conflicts between the two.

So the heroes all meet up and decide they need stop Oguun before he destroys all of their cities together (Oh, I forgot to mention the fact that Oguun teamed up with the regular arch nemeses of the heroes. That happened), they decide to infiltrate the sewers, and the first issue ends. Some notes on the characters; I find Aaron to basically be Batman, which I don't like. Not to say I don't like Batman, but if someone could confidently say your character reminds them of someone else's, you should change them. In fact, it seems all of these characters have a bit of Batman in them. Stalker's description is: "By day he's a well-known businessman, investor, and philanthropist. By night, he's a highly trained bounty hunter armed with the latest high-tech software. Blackbird's is: "Blackbird's only family member was killed in a random act of gang violence when he was a young boy. After years of Kung Fu training under the tutelage of his adoptive guardian, Blackbird has dedicated his life to bringing justice to the mean streets of Grimsburg as a crime fighting avenger." Going back to Aaron, his best friend was murdered, so he ran away and was taught to "find himself" by a Master of a secret clan who took him in. He then used this power and anger to fight crime "using his own unorthodox techniques". Dodger also seems to be like Batman in the fact that he likes to work alone. All of these seem to be a whole lot like Batman, and I don't think it'd be a bad idea to try and derail from that path. Just another note, I felt that Blackbird's presence was barely there.

It seems like I've just been taking shots at this comic when really there's a lot of good here that should be shown. I am in love with the art used in Street Team. It's very unique and there's just something about it that makes me love it. I love the design of the characters. I think each of their costumes is sick and pretty original. I also am a fan of the general story arc. While this comic isn't perfect, it's definitely a good start; piloting any type of media is a hard thing to do, and no one's perfect at it. There were a decent amount of "first time" mistakes including grammatical errors and cliches, but I'm confident the writers of Street Team will find their own path. As I said before (to the writers): please don't be offended by this post. Take this as some advice to make your comic even better than it is currently. Good luck to the writers, and I hope you enjoyed this review.


Peter Venuti, the Steamworks


  1. Hey Pete, this is Shawn. I just wanted to let you know publicly that I personally don't take offense to the post AT ALL, and I believe that I can speak for the rest of the team when I say I don't think they do either. We are actually pretty grateful that you would even take the time to review our book. In this day and age it's hard for someone to take a chance on a new product, but for someone to not only take a chance but to actually put the time in to offer us honest well rounded critiques is invaluable. Thank you so much for the feedback, and we will endeavor to improve in any way we can. Thanks.

  2. I agree with Shawn.

    You took the time to really consider the product and give it an honest critique/review. Much appreciated.

  3. Marketing only look after a specific brand, they get their scope of work from MM, and whatever that needs to be implemented comes from MM's strategy.


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