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I’m a little late to the Fracture party, as the comic was funded via Kicstarter in 2011. However, luckily for everyone who is a bit later to the party, Action Lab is releasing encore issues this year to help catch everyone up.
The premise of Fracture is this: the superhero Virtue, the supervillain Malice, and random dude Jeff are all the same person – and they’re just now figuring it out. If I had been reading comics in 2011, the premise alone would have been enough to buy the book.
People try “new things” with the superhero story all the time. Furious, released last week gave superhero Furious an evil alterego. Earlier last year Dark Horse presented Buzzkill, a comic about a superhero that derives his powers from addictive substances. In terms of sheer creativity, Fracture #1 beats both of those hands down.
Meet Jeff, slowly asserting bodily dominance in the middle of a heist. While he is not the first of the trio to learn that he shares his body with other personalities, Jeff can be defined as the “base” personality. Well, at least he’s the poor schmuck we’re following.
After coming to terms with the fact that he shares his mind with Malice, Jeff finds both a hidden lair and Malice’s journal. The journal, whose pages you can read at the end of the comic, details a plan to kill Virtue – the main superhero in town – and also plans to kill whoever is thwarting him slowly and painfully.
The second surprise comes when Jeff discovers a second journal, this one belonging to Virtue. Since Jeff injured himself preventing a small child from getting run over by a truck, this additional personality makes a bit more sense to him. Unfortunately, while Malice comes with evil plan, Virtue comes with his own set of baggage. A wife. A kid. A home. You know, things that are weird for a person to just wake up to one day.
While some “what if” stories get lost in the execution, the creative team behind Fracture nails this first issue with a mixture of good pacing, a pinch of realism, and a classic hero/villain dichotomy. As Jeff keeps bleeding through Virtue and Malice, there’s no telling what could happen next.