Written by: Rob Harrington and Giulie Speziani
Art by: Cecilia Latella
Letters by: Deron Bennett
Design by: Christopher Kosek
Page 5 Colors by: Dustin Evans
Published by: Ginger Rabbit Studio
Reviewed by: Kristian Horn
A young girl in 1946 Italy leaves her home for school one morning. On her way she decides to take a short cut on the way. While traversing a field of grass that cuts through her idyllic countryside town she finds the corpse of a soldier…one of the last remainders of great war that just finished ravaging through Europe. As she gets closer to investigate she sees some colorful periodicals peering out from his open backpack. Taking an even closer look she finds a bundle of American superhero comic books and takes them for herself.
What happens next is what I like to delightfully call “the moment”. All comic fans have had them. It’s that moment when your first picked up a comic book and you knew, you felt…deep in your soul, that your life had changed forever. That second when you picked up a comic book and something shifted in your brain and you knew that you were going to love this art form and that it was going to inspire you for the rest of your days.
The young female protagonist in Golden Age then finds herself inspired by the four color characters she finds in the pages of these American comics. The bigger than life adventures move her to try and become a hero to the town she lives in. Before you know it she’s fashioned her own costume and recruited her best friend (who happens to be male) to join her on her crusade as her sidekick. Unfortunately for her, but fortunately for the town she lives in, there are no super villains for the little girl to take on in her sleepy little Italian village. Undaunted by this she remains motivated by the superheroes in the comics and decides that there is more to being a super person than just punching things. Suddenly, the population of the small village find that they have a pint sized good samaritan helping them with errands and chores and doing her best to uphold the spirit of the comic book heroes she’s read about even if she can’t live the adventures herself.
Golden Age is a sweet, heartfelt tribute to the power of comics. It speaks to how a certain generation of comic book heroes were able to inspire legions of children to embody and emulate the characters within them. It is a book that harkens back to a more innocent time that most of us have experienced, a time when we were full of dreams of what we thought we could be and things like comics inspired us to embrace our better natures, or at least made us wish that we could be that good, or that cool, or that powerful enough to stop the bad guys.
While the story is very endearing what makes Golden Age work most is its beautiful art. Cecilia Latella brings a warmth to every page with her hand painted artwork. Every page is breathtaking and while this is actually a comic book, Latella’s style is on par with some of the best children’s books artists out there. When I first picked up the comic I was actually shocked as to how good the art was. Latella’s talent was of the sort that I couldn’t turn away from…she’s that amazing.
The only fault that I can find with Golden Age is the fact that it seems like it’s part of a larger story that’s waiting to be told. I’m assuming this is a one and done project as there is no numbering on the cover. In all honesty, I feel that this story deserves more space. By the end of the book I felt that the story had been sort of cut off bit abruptly. But if the only thing that I can find wrong with a comic book is that there isn’t enough of it…well, then you know it’s a good book. Seek this one out…you’ll be glad that you did.