Fracture Book 1: Altered Egos

Fracture Book 1: Altered Egos
Alternative editions:
Fracture Book 1 Altered Egos review
Alternative editions:
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Action Lab - 9781632290816
  • Volume No.: 1
  • Release date: 2013
  • UPC: 9781632290816
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

Jeff could have been a football star, but wrecked his knee saving a child being hit by a bus. The legal settlement covers an apartment, but not a life of fulfilment. However, Shawn Gabborin and Chad Cicconi’s opening page shows there’s more to Jeff’s life, but he doesn’t seem to know he’s super-villain Malice, shocked at finding himself at a crime scene in Malice’s costume, holding Malice’s gun. It’s the first of several revelations clarifying that the title refers to the fractures in Jeff’s personality.

It’s a clever set-up, and it becomes even smarter, as Gabborin drops further surprises. However, his strength as a writer is his imagination, and the ideas are only halfway to providing a satisfying read. Those ideas are never really developed, and motivations are unclear. Malice wanting to kill superhero Virtue is obvious enough, but plenty of questions will occur to readers who’re not given any answers here. Although some background is fleshed out in journal entries presented after the story, the overall feeling is to wonder how Mark Millar might have handled the concept.

Cicconi’s art is a similar mix of enthusiasm not quite managing that professional polish. There’s talent, and the storytelling is strong, but there’s also quite a bit that needs fixing up. The figures are twisted and stiff, and Virtue frequently looks as if he’s a redrawn superhero action figure.

Despite misgivings, the strong concept carries Altered Egos far enough to assume Gabborin might supply missing information in Vice and Virtue, making that an improved experience.