If you’re in the mood for a short, visually stunning, whimsical and creative read, then the newly released Meltdown: The Definitive Collection, brought to you by University of Miami Law School alum David Schwartz and partners Sean Wang and Guru-eFX, is for you.
The book begins with the main character, named Caliente, moving from Venezuela to Miami Beach with his parents due to a health problem – he is always hot. He was born with a temperature of 103.7 degrees. Caliente, who is eventually known at The Flare, grows up as a relatively normal child, just one with some superpowers. He does not quite know how to hone them, so basically everything he touches nearly catches fire.
With special powers in tow and no common use for them, Cal joins the Hall of Heroes, a Justice League-esque group of supermen and women. He becomes a sensation in his city, and The Flare becomes a household name. However, with popularity comes infamy, as he says: “The media constantly attacked me. Instead of applauding me for the kids I’d saved, they savaged me when a kid I’d never even met set himself on fire to be like The Flare.”
The story follows a very similar and recognizable plotline, as complications and inner struggle mark a hero’s life all while he continually saves his city. However, something about The Flare makes him very different from the likes of Batman and Spiderman – he’s a natural. His powers did not come from a utility belt or from a spider bite; he was born with them.
And so, Meltdown follows the path of a hero with a sense of authenticity. He’s sympathetic, tough, loving, thoughtful, and, most of all, mortal. In theory, he’s a super-powered individual, but his introspective and sometimes very self-conscious thinking proves that he’s just a human.
Even if you haven’t read a comic book since you were eight years old, or you’ve never picked one up at all, try Meltdown for a story that everyone can relate to. With its stunning graphic design and hilarious dialogue, it is worth an hour- (or two) long break from reality.
Still not convinced? 300 and the upcoming film The Watchmen were based off graphic novels, so perhaps you’ll be chanting Meltdown quotes after its potential release in theaters.
Dan Buyanovsky may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.