In one of those galaxies that are, no doubt, far, far away, the evil Reptoids – lizard-like space plunderers – invade a world of rock and mineral beings. There they seek to obtain the planet’s ruler King Diamond for the wealth this regal gem-creature represents. The Diamond Defenders are the small group of heroes who stand in their way, and include the simperingly ineffectual Son of King Diamond. When this ragtag band are defeated by these aggressors, Son of King Diamond must confront his fears and accept his heroic destiny if his people and his planet are to be saved…
Jack Teagle’s Diamond Defenders comes to us from Eerieeeeee, the new UK micropublisher/distro outfit whose Dungpoora by Joel Millerchip I reviewed here at Broken Frontier recently and who also distribute Lizz Lunney’s Street Dawgz minicomic (again reviewed here this year in ‘Small Pressganged’). Like Dungpoora, Diamond Defenders has a notably tactile draw to it, enhancing its appeal as a physical object in and of itself. Whether this is going to be a signature look for Eerieeeeee’s books remains to be seen but it does give them a distinctive presence on the shelves.
But back to the contents of Diamond Defenders and – this being a Jack Teagle comic –those familiar with his work will probably be unsurprised to hear that this 16-pager is another dose of his usual bold, brash action pieces. Teagle is a creator who is adept at taking the standards of heroic fiction in genre comics and distilling them to their very core, creating something that is both a pure and refined embodiment of the form. While a number of his books tend to be variations on the same dance moves they never, ever get old because within the pages of a Jack Teagle offering lies the essence of everything that we loved as kids about a certain type of comics storytelling.
In Diamond Defenders, for example, there are so many echoes of a happier era of Marvel Comics: the unlikely champion finding and accepting his place in the world, the empowering acceptance of responsibility, and a sense of heroic redemption. Add to that Teagle’s eye-catchingly kinetic artwork – the poses, the dynamics, the posturing – and, of course, those wonderful, blocky character designs, and you have a rich evocation of classic super-heroics of yesteryear.
Diamond Defenders is not an intricately plotted piece of comics nor a particularly profound one but to be looking for that here would be to completely miss the point. Sometimes style over substance is actually to be celebrated, and when it comes to gloriously melodramatic but unashamedly fun heroic romps there’s no one out there quite like Jack Teagle!
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