"Troubleshooters, Incorporated" Trade Paperback Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by StarWarp Concepts
Originally published as Troubleshooters, Incorporated #1 - #3
Written by Richard C. White & Joni M. White
Illustrated by Reggie Golden
1993, 82 Pages
Trade paperback released on July 15th, 2013
Long before Robert Kirkman created The Astounding Wolf-Man, there was Nighstalker, the werewolf super hero. Clad in nothing but big underpants, he...stalked the night and stopped some petty crime. That is until he was recruited by Troubleshooters, Incorporated, a work-for-hire supernatural team including a wizard, a sorceress, and a “hi-tech-armored roadie”. The group's first gig involves protecting a rich guy from some baddies who want to tear him apart for a mystical MacGuffin.
The fact that this is their first assignment is pretty obvious from the get go. This team has never worked together before and almost mess up their premiere mission by getting in each other's way. Ultimately, they have to learn to help one another if they are to succeed and continue on.
|Click images to enlarge|
What's interesting about Troubleshooters, Incorporated is that there's a heavy focus on the all-mighty dollar. While the world may be threatened by the magical bad guys that were trying to kill their wealthy client, the group isn't all that interested in following up on it. Their job was to protect a specific man. They did that and got paid. No one's paying them to save the world. They'll do it, but at a cost. It's a fun dynamic that is rarely seen in comics outside of the old Luke Cage / Iron Fist Heroes for Hire.
Troubleshooters, Incorporated is being re-released after twenty years through Starwarp Concepts. The collection looks great, but the comic has not aged well. It was made during the heyday of the extreme era, when the funny book industry was booming with foil covers and multiple Supermen. As a result, each of the team members is trying way too hard to be cool. Nighstalker is a badass loner. Shadowmist is a calm and silent ninja. Lightshow is...an embarrassment. If you were looking for a symbol of this time frame in comic book history, Lightshow would be it. Between the mullet, the beard, and the bulky costume, he sums up everything that was wrong with the '90s when it came to this medium.
|Click images to enlarge|
Reggie Golden's artwork is in a similar bucket in terms of the dated era. This was created during a time when Rob Liefeld was one of the biggest artists to ever hit the business. Everyone in the book has big muscles and sharp, chiseled jawlines. The women are slender with large chests. The characters occasionally look stiff, as if they were posed in uncomfortable positions or weren't sure how to stand. That being said, the action scenes are well done and exciting. There's a lot going on with the five members of the team all fighting at once, but Golden keeps it moving with a nice flow.
Troubleshooters, Incorporated gets off to a decent start with this introductory volume. It's the origin story of the team and sets the stage for some bigger stories down the line if they ever get created. In many ways it was ahead of its time, coming before the dawn of B.P.R.D. and Justice League Dark. This group was more in the super hero world, but they were out for themselves instead of standing for truth and justice. I just hope they can use the funds from their first job to get some better haircuts.