Quincredible: Vol. 1; Quest To Be the Best

Oni. Feb. 2021. 144p. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781620108789.
Gr 7 Up–New Orleans is hurting. The city has barely recovered from Hurricane Katrina when a meteor shower almost destroys it a second time—and ushers in a new era, in which ordinary citizens are imbued with superpowers. Black teen Quinton “Quin” West has the gift of invulnerability, yet he views his powers as useless, aside from making his beatings from bullies painless. Struggling to fit in, he is overwhelmed by mounting civil unrest in his New Orleans neighborhood and longs to save the world, starting with his family. When violence erupts at a rally to improve city conditions, Glow, who was also affected by the meteor shower, notices Quin’s powers and urges him to join a group of other crime fighters and stabilize the city they love. But Quin must reckon with power structures that perpetuate racism and class warfare: Will his powers serve the people or add fuel to the fire? Barnes attempts to tackle racial disparity, generational poverty, and the nuances of power, but struggles to build equally developed characters to buoy the intense plot. Dynamic, saturated artwork showcases the beauty and grit of New Orleans and the diverse lives of its people.
VERDICT Despite occasionally clunky storytelling, this series starter will prompt teens to ask how they can make the world a better place. Perfect for fans of “Ms. Marvel” and “Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man.”

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