RippaVerse: Alphacore Spoiler Free Review

Published: 06th December 2023, by Andrew Radbourne.

My Spoiler free musings about Rippaverse Comics: Alphacore.

Hello All,
Rippaverse Alphacore issue 1A cover image depicting Bryan Solari, Ingrid Valdez, Braxwell, Billy Bob Quinn, Galvan
Alphacore Issue 1A cover
Incredibly, I just finished reading AlphaCore, the latest offering from the Rippaverse comics series. The speed with which it arrived in the UK is beyond belief!

I was stunned to receive an email informing me of its delivery today, hot on the heels of another email announcing the start of the fulfilment process. I decided on Cover B, I just liked it the most. AlphaCore, is brought to you by the legendary Chuck Dixon, with pencilling by Joe Bennett, and a host of talented inkers and colourists.

AlphaCore first made its appearance in ISOM, which I may reference on occasion. However, any comparison would be unfair, given the disparity in the experience levels of its creators - Eric, a newcomer, and Chuck, an industry veteran.

To dive right in, I found the comic thoroughly enjoyable. The artwork was good, for the most part, but more on that later. AlphaCore is essentially a superhero saga cast in a police procedural mould, replete with the elements one might expect. The plot is gripping, and fun, and possesses a poignant undertone that resonated deeply with me. The protagonists display a classic friction typical of such ensembles, with each character exhibiting a distinct individual motivation that is wonderfully crafted.

Some characters do deviate from their earlier depictions. Notable among them is Solari, the caped male hero, who seems significantly different from his ISOM portrayal. However, a more extended narrative in AlphaCore provides ample opportunity to explore his character. Each member of the team, barring one, benefits from this more in-depth character study - the exception interestingly benefits from the lack of it.
AlphaCore skilfully engrosses its audience while retaining an air of intrigue, allowing snippets of characters' backgrounds and motives, without spelling out everything. The villains too are striking, without treading into the overly-explained territory. The narrative respects its readers, striking the right balance between disclosure and restraint. The plot concludes in a satisfying manner, yet keeps some surprises close to its chest, which piqued my interest for any potential sequels.

In terms of story progression, it mostly feels organic, with a couple of exceptions where transitions appear abrupt. There were instances when I felt that it could use an additional panel for smoothing out the narrative or to allow certain scenes to breathe a bit more.

Rippaverse Alphacore issue 1B cover image with Ingrid Valdez and Lilian Ronashi fighting
Alphacore Issue 1B cover
Onto the artwork, usually the deciding factor in my comic selection. For the initial two thirds, the illustrations are genuinely impressive. It has a unique stylized vibe reminiscent of Jerry Ordway, amplified by Solari's strong resemblance to Superman. The dynamic and creative layouts are most effective, although there are a few instances of less successful angles or questionable character faces, but nothing too noticeable.

Regrettably, inconsistencies in the quality of art become apparent in the latter third of the book, and persist with regard to inking and coloring. Initially, the over-inked and heavy-handed pages suggest less experienced inkers, resulting in the exacerbation of the flaws. For instance, the beginning two-thirds delight with their intricate details; as the narrative progresses, however, such details contribute to cluttered panels.

Similarly, the colouring also exhibits a lack of finesse in the concluding third, sometimes failing to enhance the artwork properly. This is certainly a subjective matter, but for me, this inconsistency was quite glaring. Regardless, even mainstream comics are not immune to such hiccups - the classic case being Age of Ultron.

Overall, AlphaCore served up an engaging reading experience and is worthy of your time! It can be found over at Eric's website. I should add that my enthusiasm has grown tremendously for an upcoming comic 'Yaira,' all thanks to the constant buzz generated by the Soska Sisters. I eagerly anticipate its release.
I'm giving this a score of 8
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