Overground Comics’ Absent Captain asks the question, who killed Jonathan Argos.

Absent Captain #1-6 2015-16
Overground Comics
Written By: Jon Hughes
Drawn By: Joshua Flower 1-4, Jon Hughes 5-6
Inked By: Mostafa Moussa 2-4

How do you think that you would react to the sudden death of a friend or of someone you depended on as a leader?  Do you think that you would be able to handle it and be able to continue with your daily routine? Or do you think that you would just shut down and be unable to do anything?  This is the underlying theme in the Absent Captain issues.

Absent Captain begins in the most eye catching of ways, with the explosion of the penthouse apartment of Jonathan Argos.  This explosion results in a single casualty, who the police believe to be Argos.  His death is important as he is the head of Zero Technology, a company that supplies supplemental law enforcement.  By using nanotechnology that when combined with a wireless battery can create a hero with powers, allowing the very few that are able to make it through the application process to do things beyond what they have ever dreamed.  It turns out Argos is secretly Captain Zero, the leader of the Zero Technology’s superhero team, the Cavaliers.  This is revealed to the reader at the same time that it is revealed to the Cavaliers, when they are all summoned to headquarters by an alarm triggered by Argos’ death.

Absent Captain’s primary focus is on the Cavaliers as they try to figure out who killed Argos.  At the same time the police are also investigating, with their eye on the Cavaliers, believing Argos’ death to be an inside job by someone connected to Zero Tech.  While both the Cavaliers and the police try to figure out who killed Argos and how they did it, other stories begin to unfold.    In the aftermath of Argos’ death a couple of the Cavaliers have trouble coping with the tragedy.  While trying to deal with this, powered beings are popping up that seem to have something to do with the problems occurring at Hero Corp., Zero Technology’s primary competition (see HeroCorp Knights).  These powered beings distract the Cavaliers at times from their goal of finding their leader’s murderer as they have to put an end to the crimes that are being committed.  And to top it off, Argos’ sister, who has been off the grid for over a decade, suddenly appears and takes over control of Zero Tech.  The strange behavior of Argos’ sister leads to suspicion by a couple of the team members that there could be a connection between her and what is happening at Hero Corp.

Many questions remain up in the air as the death of Jonathan Argos begins to take on the look of much more than a straight forward murder and is perhaps tied to a much larger conspiracy.  With the investigation beginning to expand beyond the death of just one man, possibly enveloping both corporations, The Cavaliers and the Knights come together to unravel the death of Argos and all of the other mysteries that have arisen since that moment.

I was very impressed with this offering from Overground Comics, Absent Captain has a nice emotional component (note the members of the Cavaliers having to deal with the death of their leader) that is coupled nicely with a procedural component (the team attempting to solve Argos’ murder).  Both of these were melded together and worked quite nicely together with neither one completely dominating the other.  While the story is quite good, the art work in these issues does a good job of holding its own and then some.  Joshua Flower’s work I found to be very strong and a great complement to Jon Hughes’ script.  Hughes also supplied artwork for about half of the issues.  I do believe that of the four original Overground titles, Absent Captain is the most complete in both story and artwork.  It is not difficult to say that I am most definitely awaiting the next round of issues from Overground for this title.

Story: 4.3/5*       Art: 4.2/5*       Overall: 4.4/5*

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