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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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STEAM PATRIOTS review – Ben Franklin With Cool Goggles (Wakefield, Boyle, Mims, Hosek) Silverline Comics

  • Creators and Writers: Scott Wakefield and Rory Boyle
  • Penciller and Inker: David Mims
  • Colorist, Letterer, and Editor: Dan Hosek
  • Cover Artists: David Mims & Dan Hosek; Jaxon Renick & Mickey Clausen; Dean Zachary, Tommy Florimonte & Mickey Clausen (KS Version)

Thanks to Scott Wakefield for the review copy!

The Steampunk genre is usually set in the Victorian era. But there are certainly other settings that could benefit from futuristic, yet retro steam powered machines. So why not America during the American Revolution? As the creators of STEAM PATRIOTS note in the introduction, Ben Franklin makes sense as the starting point for a world of throwback steam powered goodness.

The title leans into this concept from the get-go, with a messenger spreading word of a British advance via some steam powered metal horses (talk about horse power!). It’s a pretty neat visual to see literal robot horses pulling a wagon, though it requires forgiving the inventor for not figuring out how to use steam to turn the wheels instead. I don’t know if cool goggles are an official requirement for steampunk, but the driver sports them as well. Steampunk aside, there are also some expansive visuals of the approaching British that has a great sense of scale to it.

STEAM PATRIOTS effectively captures a sense of divided loyalties where some people remain loyal to the British while others take the side of the revolutionaries. Plot wise, the story settles in as a chase/quest to build a (presumably steam powered) super weapon. There’s a nice juxtaposition near the end of the issue mirroring the two sides and setting up the story going into issue 2.

One of the things I like about historical science fiction generally, and STEAM PATRIOTS in particular, is seeing how the authors take history and add their fictional layer on top of it. This is the kind of book that may make you look up what parts of history were incorporated into the fictional take on the war. Any excuse to drive people to learn about history is a good one.

STEAM PATRIOTS is now live as a bundle on Kickstarter with 2 other issues (DIVINITY#1-2)

For more information on the title check out their website at www.steampatriots.us or their official social pages on Facebook, and Instagram.

Are you going to back the Kickstarter? Have you already? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!

Darren Shulman
Darren Shulman
Darren is a professional lawyer and amateur movie/comic/TV reviewer who is lucky enough to have found a wife who is into the same geeky things he is. Darren has been making the trip from Ohio to San Diego Comic-Con since 2009. Other interests include, in no particular order: monkeys, LEGO, dinosaurs, and playing basketball poorly.

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