What if you were a sidekick to a hero that wanted nothing to do with you?
That’s the premise of Alterna Comic’s series the Actual Roger created by Hank Tucker.
Issue #1 – ‘Cosmic Flukes’
Little Roger Beaman has given up on superheroes; especially Magnanimo. Roger has his friend, Clay Mason, get into a fight about this turn of events as an unknown object from space crash lands in the backyard of Roger’s house. Both Roger and Clay try to find out what it is before Roger’s mom calls him into the house and Clay goes home. On the nightly news it is revealed that Magnanimo is looking for a new assistant on the war on crime.
A few days later, Roger is at home when he discovers that he can fly (albeit only a foot and a half off the ground). He goes outside as Mr. Beaman chases him down the street. Roger is giving his friend Ida a ride around the block, just as helicopters descend on the neighborhood. The military has been called but a man tells him he has the situation under control. Enter Buck Silvestri of the Bureau of Anomalous Persons and his partner, Jorge Everisto. Buck talks to Mr. and Mrs. Beaman about Roger and how he must now go to live with a certified and state approved superhero in order to protect his identity and to be guided down the path of herodom.
Before Roger leaves, Clay visits and shows off his newfound powers: the ability to shift and transform his body into clay. Clay wants Roger to tell Buck about his powers and recommend that he get a chance to fulfill his dream as a superhero as well. Roger tells Clay he will see what he can do. As Roger, Buck, and Jorge make their way to the Fortress of Fraternity, its revealed that Jorge has abilities of his own: he can read minds.
Buck introduces Roger to Magnanimo as the hero’s new assistant but Magnanimo is displeased with this news. Buck tries to tell Magnanimo that this will be good for his image. Roger and Magnanimo are getting to know one another but are interrupted by a phone call. The monster Beshemoth is attacking the city. The issue ends with Magnanimo trying to decide if he should let Roger join him or leave him at the nearest McDonald’s PlayPlace.
Every once and awhile, I check the Independent section on Midtown Comics online to see which new and different series are available for purchase. The premise and the cover of The Actual Roger jumped out at me. The cherry on top was the price – $1.50!
Alterna Comics is making a name for themselves by taking old ideas and breathing new life into them or by skewing them altogether. Captain America with Bucky and Batman with Robin are the two best examples of heroes and sidekicks. Will Magnanimo grow to appreciate Roger and his youthful enthusiasm or will this duo be going their separate ways? Is Magnanimo the hero everyone thinks he is or is there a dark side to him? We will find the answers to these questions over the next four issues.