Rating if the Book Were a Movie: PG-13/R

Writer: Jonathan Hedrick
Artists: Gino Kasmyanto
Colors: Periya Pillai
Letters: Steve Ekstrom
Editor: Steve Ekstrom

Once in a while you come across an indie book that has the cajones to show the world another group that is still fighting discrimination. I’m talking about individuals with disabilities. A disability can be an inconvenience at best and a nightmare at worst. Some are luckier than others. I have a hearing disability that makes it difficult for me to understand people in conversations if they’re not looking right at me and enunciating every word. 

For me the pandemic has been a godsend in that regard. I can ask people to repeat themselves because I couldn’t hear through their mask. Before that it was a 60/40 mix of people being cool and trying to be helpful and making sure I understood them as opposed to being obnoxious and trying to be funny. Over the years more than one waiter had lost their tip from me for that. 

Like I previously stated, for me my disability is an inconvenience. For those with disabilities that create more limitations day to day things are much more difficult. We get a first person view of some of these difficulties in the pages of “Capable” #1. 

Derik and Harry, our heroes in this breakout issue, are physically disabled high school students. Derik is confined to a wheelchair. Harry needs crutches to get around. We see how Derik dreads the prospect of even getting ready for school as he wonders what creative names the other students will be calling him THIS TIME. Sadly, teenage kids can be irredeemable shits on occasion.

Everything changes when one morning, because comics, Derik and Harry wake up without the need of their mobility devices. Whatsmore, on top of not needing the devices the boys find they have powers! 

What will they do with these newfound abilities? Time will tell.

Artwork: .75 Stars

The artwork throughout the book is very solid. I really liked the Metallica poster in Derik’s bedroom. It gives us just a little more of a sense of who he is.

Story: .75 Stars

This story is off to a great start. A lot of this book was spent on character development, which I understand. Derik’s awkward attempts to talk to Erin were hilarious. I would have liked to see more with regards to how the boys got their powers, or a bit more in the way of a conflict once they have powers.

Dialogue: .75 Stars

With the dialogue it’s easy to see just how rough the other students make things on Derik and Harry. We do get a lot of information from the other conversations which while crude in some ways describe how a couple of guys will try to motivate one another.

Editing: .75 Stars 

The lettering in this issue is spot on. The onomatopoeia (sound effects) used were an interesting choice. I liked “Boof”. It resonates perfectly with implying blazing speed.

There was one balloon where it seems to go against the conversation. The guys weren’t talking about a hairball.

Mechanics: 1 Star 

The sequence of events in the story is very smooth. The character development is very well done. By the end of the issue Derik and Harry are more than just an idea. They’re real people.

This took me straight back to middle school and high school with all the teasing and prodding just because I was different. Am I projecting some of my childhood experiences onto this book? Yes. Does it change how people that are different get treated during the adolescent years? No. What we saw Derrick experience was life as I knew it from seventh through ninth grade.

This book is only available through ComiXology at this time. With a $2.00 price tag I consider it money well spent. I’m looking forward to seeing where the story takes us next!