A Hard R
First, I met Tom Nguyen a number of years ago. He was one of a handful of guests at an in-store. Along with Doug Mahnke and Uptown Girl creator, Bob Lipski. At the time, I was a radio personality. I interviewed him on-air to promote the in-store event. Later, I got a Batman sketch from Tom. We've kept in touch from time to time over social media.
He's a nice guy. Good people.
When I saw that he and co-creator Keith Champagne were crowd-funding a project called The Switch: Electricia, I supported the effort by sharing a link. I won a copy of the hardcover, with an inside cover sketch of Electricia personally autographed by Tom.
Champagne's story is mature. It's what might be described as "a hard R". There are two instances of extreme violence. The language is coarse and the story is full of "adult" themes. Not adults working or paying bills as the old joke goes. Villains at their worst.
There is one rogue, Stefan, or Loverboy, with the power of persuasion, who does the most vile and unspeakable things in this story. He is a truly revolting character. Most of the villains in this story are extreme.
Heroes only make brief, cameo appearances.
This is a villain's story. Similar in concept to Wanted. With a kind of Astro City feel to it. The question is: can a villain reform? There's story after story about heroes falling from grace into villainy. Can a villain truly, genuinely reform? Without there being some underlying plot?
It's an interesting question. Electricia goes through a lot of self-examination and asks herself some very difficult questions. She seems truly pained by remorse. Even for a villain, she has a certain code, boundaries, lines she won't cross. This story is about the one line she does cross, and the consequences of her choice.
It's true, this story begs for more space to more fully develop its characters. This could very well work as a limited series of twelve issues. Maybe as an ongoing series, with origin chapters for some characters.
You can find the hardcover on the Dynamite Entertainment website or on Amazon.