cover image ExtraOrdinary


V.E. Schwab and Enid Balám. Titan Comics, $24.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-78586-588-6

This graphic spin-off from Schwab’s X-men-esque Villains series takes up a promising character, in the in-between chronology of two prose titles, but despite all the graphic potential of moody teenagers wielding super powers, the comic version comes out lackluster. After a fatal bus crash, Charlotte wakes up and finds she’s not only been brought back to life, but can see how anyone will die by looking at their reflections. Her eventual death, revealed to her in such a vision, will be at the hands of the immortal Eli Ever, who’s trying to kill all “ExtraOrdinaries” (EOs) like her, as he believes them to be “an affront to God.” Charlotte determines, rashly, to seek Eli out and face him head-on. After being saved from a trap, Charlotte meets fellow EOs, who bring her into their techie clubhouse and explain that Eli’s in a special superhero prison. But Charlotte’s not going to wait around for him to get out, and instead engineers a jailbreak. These badass-in-theory characters spin too rapidly through the expository-heavy script to develop motivations; whereas Schwab’s novels excel at characterization through action, that level of depth’s lacking in the slim comic (and it doesn’t help that the main villain spends most of it locked up). Balám’s art trends junior, with characters drawn a little too cute and rosy-cheeked, the gore and violence splattered on after. Schwab’s dedicated fan base will still pick it up, but are likely to grumble. (Nov.)