Lou Ferrigno has come full circle. He achieved international fame playing TV’s Incredible Hulk, based on the green, raging Marvel Comics character. Now there is a comic based on a character Ferrigno played on screen–Lou Ferrigno: Liberator. It is a 2-shot comic, of which I have read part 1.
Now, full confession, I had never heard of Liberator, the short film on which this Bluewater Comics title is based. I received a solicit from Bluewater requesting we review the title, and was provided this first issue.
From the title, with Ferrigno’s name prominent and his face drawn on the cover, I expected an End of the World type story telling of a “real world” Ferrigno becoming a superhero. The rock band Kiss had such stories told, as did Mr. T and pro wrestler The Undertaker. So I was surprised to see that despite his name in the title Ferrigno is neither a character in this book, nor credited as part of the comic’s creative team.
Research then led me to realize that this comic is an adaptation of an 18-minute film starring Ferrigno, Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson, and Star Trek’s Michael Dorn. Both the film and comic focus on Ed Migliocetti (Ferrigno), pro footballer-cum soldier-cum superhero named Liberator. A decade earlier Ed was assigned to kill someone, but rather than be a whistle-blower he took a fall that landed him in prison. separating him from his wife and daughter. Now Ed wants redemption and is writing a tell-all book. Of course, shadowy figures don’t want the truth coming out, and the first issue ends on a cliffhanger.
This comic is a very short read. With more of an emphasis on art rather than dialogue, the book feels very anemic for a first issue. It is an introduction issue and little more, with the characters and movie events recapped for those who have not seen the film. While the story has a good hook, there is nothing in this first issue to make me crave Issue 2.
But the research did take me to YouTube where I saw a trailer and a clip for the film Liberator and despite the cast being a list of comic-con autograph hall staples, the production values have me very interested. Unfortunately there is no online or video release of Liberator, the film. It is currently touring.
The film looks really good, but the comic only works for me as a teaser for the film itself. It’s a pretty book, but the story is average. So I will give it a pretty average rating of 2.5 stars.
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