PopCultHQ Comic Book Review: ‘CAPTAIN KID’ #4 from AfterShock Comics

PopCultHQ received a preview copy of CAPTAIN KID #4 from AfterShock Comics. Available now, the creative team for this series features writing from Mark Waid and Tom Peyer, pencils from Brent Peeples, inks by Eric Gapstur, colors done by Kelly Fitzpatrick, and lettering from A Larger World Studios.

Need a refresher on the previous issue? Here’s a look at our review from last month:

Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of the fourth issue of…


Writer: Mark Waid, Tom Peyer
Pencils: Brent Peeples
Inks: Eric Gapstur
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: A Larger World
Cover Artists: Wilfredo Torres, Kelly Fitzpatrick

Plagues and disasters hammer Captain Kid’s city, all deliberately summoned by harbingers of a hopeless future. Someone in Captain Kid’s circle betrays him.

PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
“He’ll Live”

Let me start off by saying how much I appreciate AfterShock Comics for something they’ve made a part of their titles that needs to be mentioned, because is likely overlooked or and afterthought but I enjoy the heck out of it. Their inclusion of an issue title, or “episode title,” on the credits page really does add a mark of flair, one which contributes to, hints at, or embodies the story within.  This issue is no different, but it puzzled me as to what they could be referring. And then it hit me. I would imagine that issue four’s title, “He’ll Live” involved the writers but it could have been an editor’s decision or someone at the publisher. Regardless, when those words appeared in the story and I reread it from the beginning anew, the weight of that title hit me hard and I felt tears welling up inside. Pardon my abbreviated French, but that was powerful AF! It’s the things like this, the subtle nuances accompanied with the strong narrative, that give CAPTAIN KID its identity in the world of superhero comic books. It’s not trying to be over-the-top. It has heart, it’s endearing, and it takes the often idolized superhero persona and drags him down to our level.
Issue four is about setting up next month’s finale. After reading this issue, and then looking over it a second time, I couldn’t help but wonder how this will all wrap up with next month’s release. There’s about four, perhaps five, questions that need answering to tie up loose ends. But at the same time, you get the sense that something huge is on the horizon. As if the writers have been holding an ace up their sleeve the entire time. I also feel they may toss in an unexpected Joker card that no one sees coming. I could be wrong but how everything is left at the end of this issue, this would be the ideal moment for some shock value or something mind-blowing.


How is this comic book about a superhero reaching and connecting with me on an emotional level? In capturing the raw emotion experienced by Chris “Captain Kid” Vargas, the writing in this issue is the best yet. Mark Waid and Tom Peyer’s gift to this series is their ability to engage the reader in such a way that you instantly relate to the protagonist and literally feel what he is experiencing. Truly a remarkable gift for any writer and a bold, smart move in making that so central to CAPTAIN KID as a series.

I mentioned it in my last review but it needs to be stated again. The progression found in CAPTAIN KID owes a lot to the internal dialogue, and subsequent caption boxes, of Vargas. It helps move the storyline along, detail things from the past, and provide insight to Chris’ internal struggles. Brilliant!


In issue four, artists Brent Peeples and Eric Gapstur make their debut in Captain Kid’s interiors. Brent’s penciling had me a bit torn. There were a few panels where I would have liked to see a bit more detail. That could be the result of being used to Wilfredo Torres’ interiors for the first three issues. I will say, some I did recognize as an artistic choice and admired the beauty of it. A few times, however, I wasn’t quite sure just what it lacked in the drawing; maybe there wasn’t enough illustrated for the inker to work with, perhaps the inker didn’t give, or maybe something got lost in the colors. Despite these minor instances, I will say that Peeples and Gapstur deliver the best and most powerful closing panel in this series. Whereas Waid & Peyer generally provide the emotion to the series, in the last few pages the emotion screamed from the art. That’s a beautiful thing to have with your artists!

The inks by Eric Gapstur caught my eye on a number of occasions; all bold choices that paid off beautifully. Eric did a nice job at adding depth in needed areas and his shading is impressive. What I enjoyed about Gapstur’s work in this issue was how well he partnered with Peeples. Just as mentioned above, there were a number of panels where the duo came together to the result was outstanding.

Kelly Fitzpatrick continues to provide the bold look and feel to CAPTAIN KID. Never overpowering, but accentuating what needs to be prominent. Fitzpatrick each issue how shown she “gets” CAPTAIN KID and all its components, and brings the energy and liveliness of the series.


A Larger World, responsible for lettering duties since the series’ inception, has done a great job in this series. Placements are well-laid out, good use of emphasis and effects, and at times has had captions which felt as if the lettering contributed to the emotion of the title as well. There were a couple of instances where dialog bubbles seemed a tad off but in my second run-through, my reaction to them waned and in one case appreciated it more.

PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:

CAPTAIN KID is not your normal superhero fare, but that’s its appeal. It’s filled with raw and real emotion, engaging characters, a bit of mystery tossed in, and an overall warm feeling from the entire presentation. The writing in CAPTAIN KID is what defines the series and what sets it apart from anything else in the superhero genre. A hero we get to experience as he himself is understanding his abilities.

In CAPTAIN KID, Chris Vargas’s inner angst, uncertainty, and the challenges he faces can seem insurmountable. his self-reflection can evoke a look inward of ourselves. Many people are buzzing in the comic book community about AfterShock (rightfully and deservedly so), but what most people hear or talk about is ANIMOSITY, ALTERS, ROUGH RIDERS, SHIPWRECK, and BLACK EYED KIDS. All of those titles are beyond impressive in numerous ways collectively and individually, but it’s many of their other titles which don’t get recognized as much that are just as strong, captivating, and enjoyable in its own way. AMERICAN MONSTER. SECOND SIGHT. JACKPOT. And most certainly CAPTAIN KID. Such a well-rounded stable suited to the needs of anyone and everyone. What does the future bring CAPTAIN KID in next month’s finale and beyond? Time will tell. Knowing what this creative team is capable of and what they’ve already produced, the biggest impact for this series is on the horizon. Which makes sense, really, because how else can you feel the AfterShock? (Yeah, I went there).

PopCultHQ’s Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Look for CAPTAIN KID #4 on ComiXology
or at your local comic shop and various online retailers today!

Be sure to follow the creative team!

Writer – Mark Waid





Writer – Tom Peyer





Artist – Brent Peeples





Artist – Eric Gapstur





Colorist – Kelly Fitzpatrick





Letterer – A Larger World Studios





Cover Artist – Wilfredo Torres





Publisher AfterShock Comics:


About Jason Bennett 5377 Articles
Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's chief editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. One with the Force. Browncoats Unite! So say we all! Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett