This review is part of my Africa Rising series highlighting African comic book companies, authors, characters and stories. Comic Republic, founded by Jide Martin in Lagos, Nigeria, is a fledgling comic book company melding African lore and spiritualism with superheroes. They have a full library of comics with both male and female superheroes that are all black and all Nigerian.
“I saw that Nigeria was filled with so much negativity; it became obvious that this generation and the ones to come, needed an icon, an example, to teach us justice, truth and peace. This hero would be designed give us faith to see that our actions and words could indeed make a difference and throw a positive light on Nigeria. – Jide Martin
Guardian Prime is Comic Republic’s flagship character and currently has a six issue arc based on his storyline. Touted as the “Nigerian Superman” his powers include flight, super strength, speed, flight and an exhalted sense of justice with a side of unmitigated logic. He can rapidly weigh the probability of multiple outcomes and is kind of like a cross between Blue Marvel and Dr. Manhattan in that regard.
Guardian Prime Genesis< delves into the character’s origin story. As a child, Tunde Jaiye’s latent abilities began to surface in different situations. Genesis is an example of one of those situations and in a very simple story, it is revealed how even as a boy Tade was very logical and mature, but still respectful of both his parents and the larger society that he is a part of. In the end, Tunde saves the day (and a woman from a burning car) and his decisions are reflected in flash-forward scene of an adult Tunde as Guardian Prime attempting to save the Earth from an invasion.
What I think
Too often, indie comic book characters are compared to legends of the industry (like Superman and Batman) and I think that can be to the character’s detriment because readers already have a pre-conceived notion that the artist really can’t get away from. The Guardian Prime character is a powerful one that should stand all on it’s own. Genesis is a good all ages origin story, that lends itself well to younger audiences with it’s lessons on watching out for one’s siblings and being mindful of your parents. The artist uses light and shadow well and the line art is consistent. My only criticism would be the panels lack of depth of field and sometimes the body proportions are inconsistent. Overall however, I think Genesis might be the best artwork of the whole Guardian Prime series. This comic can be read as a stand alone story, however, I really didn’t fully comprehend the importance of certain inferences until I read the larger Guardian Prime story. (Which you can do for FREE here).
This is a really strong book coming from a company with a variety of titles, characters and options. They use multiple artists and writers and seem to be building a library of strong work. Right now ALL of their comics are free. Some other titles to check out are Ajé, Ìrètí and Avònòmè. I suggest you go to the Comic Republic site now and read all that they have before they start charging!
Wale Awelenje – Writer
Jide Martin -penciller/inker
Franklin Ikechikwu – colorist
Stanley Odende – Letterer
Lara Digiart/Jide Martin – Cover Art
Comic Republic can be found online at: