Early in June, Romeo Sid Vicious wrote up a new offering from Image Comics, America’s Got Powers. The obvious reference to reality TV got us thinking here at the Blok. We remembered another title from Image Comics with a reality TV tie-in. So I volunteered to search through the vault, and we found Todd Nauck’s (of Amazing Spider-Man, Young Justice, and others) 2003 series, WildGuard: Casting Call, and it’s really something special.
WildGuard: Casting Call’s premise is simple, auditions are being held for a super group, WildGuard, who will be featured on a reality TV show of the same name (Like Stan Lee’s Who Wants to Be a Superhero, but, you know, hopefully not terrible). Those who want a shot must audition against other heroes in front of a panel of judges (sadly, none of which are Paula Abdul).
The series, Casting Call, was set to run 6 issues with the purpose of defining the group. However, the group wasn’t only in the hands of the creator. In a brilliant move, fans were invited to go to www.wildguard.com and vote for their favorite character with the top vote-earner getting a guaranteed spot on the team (Spoiler alert: it’s still not Clay Aiken).
WildGuard: Casting Call’s approach is well-balanced between the comical and the comic. One could imagine that a comic book taking a reality TV approach could come across silly, but Nauck strikes gold by quickly endearing characters to his readers. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of questionable jokes and silly heroes (Adhesor, Frat-Man, and Toughlon, for example), but the documentary style storytelling really works for the comic. I found myself wishing it were 2003 again so I could cast my vote. His story takes surprising turns, features both hilarious and creative heroes and villains (Wandering Eye is a personal fave), and ends with a well-balanced and satisfying team.
The WildGuard title continued after Casting Call, with Fire Power, Fool’s Gold, and Insider. Each containing not only its own story arc but also adventures of characters introduced in Casting Call that didn’t make the cut. If you’re looking for something different and a little light-hearted, then I definitely recommend WildGuard: Casting Call.
~ Tim Jenkins ~