Tech Jacket 1: The Boy from Earth

tech jacket volume 1 the boy from earth cover trade paperback
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 7/10

Light and easy read, for fans of Invincible

Story feels derivative of lots of other series without enough innovation

Comic Info

Comic Name: Tech Jacket (Volume 1)

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Robert Kirkman

Artist: E.J. Su

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2007

tech jacket #1 cover

Tech Jacket (1) #1

Reprints Tech Jacket (1) #1-6 (November 2002-April 2003).  Zack Thompson is just a normal kid going to high school when destiny crashes right in front of him.  Zack discovers a Geldarian named Kelda who in his dying action gives Zack his alien power-suit known as a Tech Jacket.  Zack soon finds himself in space battling the Kresh, but returning home, Zack has a whole new set of worries.

Written by Robert Kirkman, Tech Jacket Volume 1:  The Boy from Earth is an Image Comics science-fiction superhero comic series.  With art by E.J. Su, Tech Jacket was later incorporated into the Invincible Universe.

I read Invincible and encountered Tech Jacket there first in a crossover.  While Invincible exploded and became a franchise, Tech Jacket fizzled.  I always figured that as Invincible went on longer and longer that Tech Jacket might come back to broaden the titles in the Invincible world, but he didn’t.  The character was kind of bland and had a horrible name…tech jackets are dumb.  Despite this, I thought I’d go back and read Tech Jacket and see the character’s origin…while the comic is a quick fun read, it also feels more derivative of other series and movies.

tech jacket #5 cover

Tech Jacket (1) #5

The comic is basically Green Lantern combined with The Last Starfighter.  Like Green Lantern, Zack finds a dying alien who gives him a miraculous tool that he can use to fight injustice and it largely acts on instinct (plus, it talks to him…much like a Green Lantern ring).  Zack is then recruited into the Geldarian space force in the battle against the Kresh…much like everyman Alex in The Last Starfighter who is recruited to battle Ko-Dan Armada.  It is a classic style story, but instead of feeling original, it feels pieced together from other things.

The story then goes into more original territory with Zack returning home and trying to adjusting to being a “superhero” on Earth.  Though it was part of the Invincible Universe later, there is no indication of other superheroes in this volume so Zack is an individual on the planet.  Even though this more unique, it still feels like something like Marvel’s Nova with Zack replacing Richard Ryder.

With so much similarity to other series and characters, Tech Jacket starts out in a very tough situation.  Invincible allowed Kirkman to explore and flip the common tropes of superhero comics, but here, he feels too scared to do that…the result is a basic and rather typical story.  That being said, the comic is still fun and light.  It is a quick and easy read, and fans of Invincible might want to check it out (despite the horrible name).  Tech Jacket 1:  The Boy from Earth is followed by Tech Jacket 2:  Lift Off.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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