BACK ISSUE TO THE FUTURE: MELTDOWN

Commentary by Dan W.

Have you ever burned out on something you once enjoyed? Woken up in the morning questioning why you ever cared? Let it poison your personal and professional interactions?

Well, what if you were a hero. And what if that thing you burned out on was life itself?

The Flare is a superhero, but he was never the best. Hot-headed. Impulsive. Plagued with regret and doubt, his fiery powers consuming him from the inside, he is left to face the remnants of his life and try to make peace with his failures and the people he’s wronged. In doing so, maybe he finds that those people didn’t hate him as much as he thought, maybe it was miscommunication or misalignments in expectations. It becomes about the perception of events in the minds-eye. But it’s too late. Like I mentioned: ‘fiery powers consuming him.’ The Flare doesn’t have time left to reconcile the pieces of his life. He’s dying, and all he has time for now is one, last, desperate attempt at redemption.

The art and writing are serviceable, but the two halves come together as something greater than the sum of the parts. Across two issues, you as the reader, feel the depths of The Flare’s rage and pain, but by the end, find yourself rooting for him, despite him being a mostly miserable shell of a human being for most of the story. Certainly overlooked, crafted by creators (David Schwartz, Sean Wang) who never gained a huge profile in the industry, Meltdown nevertheless has some imperceptible quality compelling me to dredge it from the back issue bin and spotlight it, in the hope that someone out there will give this tale of heroism in the face of death a chance and enjoy it as much as I did.

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