Click here to return to the main site.

Comic Book Review

Book Cover

Captain Stone


Writers: Christina McCormack and Liam Sharp
Artist: Liam Sharp
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: £2.65
Age: 15+
32 pages
Publication Date: 17 December 2014

The world's first and only superhero has disappeared after undergoing a cataclysmic fall from grace in the eyes of the world. Middle-aged and unable to support his operations he had made a preposterous claim that the world was in danger, a notion derided by the media and the public at large. But what if the claim is true? Outcast writer and infamous murderess Charlie Chance, AKA The Pet, finds herself searching for the one man who was able to bring her to justice - Captain Stone...

Liam Sharp's name has been familiar to followers of the UK comics industry for many years, from his work on 2000AD strips including Judge Dredd and ABC Warriors, through Marvel UK's Death's Head II and numerous works for DC, Marvel and Wildstorm. Captain Stone, an ongoing series co-written with spouse Christina McCormack and premiering in 2012 under Sharp's own Madefire imprint, is now being reissued as a joint venture with Titan.

Our protagonist is Charlie Chance, a fortyish ex-model and recluse on her near-wilderness estate in California, where she lives off the earnings from her vampire-themed novels written under the nom de plume Vincent Van Goth (excerpted in the backmatter of this first issue) and takes her odd feral tendencies out on the local wildlife. Charlie's reminiscences of her young life as accomplice to her aristocratic jewel-thief father and subsequent rebellion, interposed with musings on the nature of chess and recollections of foreboding dreams, come to a head when she's informed of her personal connection to the titular Captain Stone. Nothing about Stone himself is revealed in this first issue, although a mock-Playboy interview postscript fills us in on his celebrity status as the world's only superhuman champion.

While the plot at this early stage is vestigial, the real draw here is Liam Sharp's art: gorgeously rendered throughout, the evocations of Charlie's past bear comparison with the works of Dave McKean, Sean Phillips and (in one cheeky nod to Elektra: Assassin) Bill Sienkiewicz, the last of whom contributes a variant cover here. The stylised costumes Charlie and her father wear to go thieving, as well as her exaggerated 1980s teenage fashions, demonstrate Sharp's eye for clothing design, an overlooked element in comics for which I'm always keen to see consideration. The panel arrangements and colouring, together with Jim Campbell's restrained lettering, make Captain Stone #1 a first-rate visual work.

With eight instalments published since its 2012 debut and a monthly schedule, Titan's Captain Stone will soon bring us up to date with the series; if it's as good-looking and involving as the first issue I'm anxious to see more.


Richard Hunt