World Class from Mad Cave Studios’ YA imprint, Maverick, comes a compelling tale about pushing past comfort zones. The graphic novel comes to comic stores on February 9, 2022 and bookstores on February 22nd.
World Class Synopsis
About World Class (from Mad Cave):
Life’s a pitch for teen football star, Adrian “Colombian Cannon” Molina. With his powerful shot, Adrian looks like a shoe-in for the European junior league. When a Regents United elite prep school scout offers him a full scholarship, the news seems too good to be true. Adrian’s celebration is short-lived thanks to his meeting with the team’s star, Titan Evans. Titan is everything Adrian is not; rich, powerful, and connected. Despite that, Titan sees the Colombian Cannon as a threat to his domination on the pitch. Hallway brawls and constant bullying from Titan and his cronies consume Adrian’s new life along with crippling anxiety thanks to the fear of losing his spot on the team.
Appearance Is Everything
World Class captures the tensions, anxieties, and excitement of a sports biopic. Adrian Molina is such a relatable character. Getting onto a great Association Football team in another country is one thing, but having to share space with a school bully is terrifying. Titan is a character readers will love to hate, until it becomes apparent that he’s facing pressures of his own. These two struggle to act as teammates, which serves as one of the most effective arcs in the book.
Fortunately, writer Jay Sandlin makes the other elements of World Class just as satisfying. Adrian doesn’t have to deal with his struggles alone, his teammate Luciano serves as a foil to both Adrian and Titan. Luciano is friendly, open, and isn’t afraid to speak his mind about what’s going wrong. He’s a real team player who earns a major plot point in the book. The quirky supporting cast, like Game of Thrones loving Kong and spotlight hog Ashlie, are all memorable in their own right. Some of them, like Ashlie, even have plots and arcs of their own outside of the main story. It makes the world these characters live in feel authentic.
Channels The Excitement
Patrick Mulholland illustrates World Class with energy and visuals that imprint readers with the thrills of watching a real game. In fact, some two-page spreads look like collages of snapshots that evoke a Mulholland comic that caught everyone’s attention. The way he uses panels and angles to accentuate characters’ actions is outright phenomenal. It also helps to have a colorist like Rebecca Nalty to give these panels color coded backgrounds to match the intensity. The background sometimes fades away, putting everything into one dramatic moment.
The lettering by Justin Birch has plenty of energy of its own. Mundane conversations get filled with so much emotion, the word balloons can sometimes barely contain the dialogue. One bit that stands out is how the game announcers have color coded word balloons to represent their teams. Plus, Birch’s use of sound effects make the actions sequences twice as dynamic.
World Class Says It All
World Class has everything readers didn’t know they could want from a sports series. From compelling, rich characters to art that instills excitement through its panel work, this is one title to keep an eye on.