Once a Hero….
July 14, 2012 Leave a comment
“Welcome to Tranquility” is a two volume, 14 issues total comic book series created by Gail Simone and Neil George in 2007. It is the story of a small town populated by World War II era superheroes, super villains and their families. It gives you glimpse of what happens when they age instead of staying forever young as they do in the pages of popular cape stories. Throughout the series, you get family histories and past grudges. I think it’s also interesting that you see the generations of heroes and how the younger ones evolve. They are referred to as the Liberty Snots. It takes place in the Wildstorm Universe and is complete with references to characters. I was not aware of the Wildstorm universe when I read this book and did not feel lost. So, no need to spend hours looking members of The Authority in order to “get” this series. It is filled with, for lack of better terms, colorful and creative characters like Emoticon, a villain who only gets more interesting. Seriously, he wears his LCD screen face all of the time that displays his emotions through….EMOTICONS!
The first six series limited issue is focused on solving the death of one of the local heroes, Mr. Articulate. The sheriff must solve mystery while also dealing with a reporter and her cameraman who just happened to be around when this all went down. As most mysteries go, things are not what they appear and within six issues, Simone’s tendency to go dark happens quickly and will leave fans with a sense of satisfaction. The mixture of humor, action and drama works really well. The second volume, Welcome to Tranquility One Foot in the Grave, has much of the same positive points as the first except the payoff does not have the same impact. It would still be worth reading; however, because it does flesh out stories more.
My favorite part of this series is the town sheriff. She is Sheriff Thomasina “Tommy” Lindo and she is the main character. Her grandfather was a superhero, The Black Glider. This was one of the biggest draws for me because she’s an African-American woman in law enforcement and in the lead. I won’t lie, seeing an African-American not being Fox from Wanted, tends to get me excited. Besides that, however, she also feels like a real character and not a magical flawless wise Negro character that teaches everyone a lesson about something. I am usually nervous when white authors take on the task of writing black characters but I don’t remember cringing once. She doesn’t possess any superpowers, just quick thinking and quirky sayings. I also enjoyed reading storylines with her sister, Seresa Lindo. She gets more interesting the second volume.
So, in conclusion, pretty good idea to read this series. It’s short so there’s no long-term commitment and if you find that you get exhausted from learning the history of well-established characters and multiple universes then this is a nice vacation.