I always have incredibly high expectations when it comes to any product put fourth by someone from the Whedonverse, and when one of the co-creators of a comic series is named as Seth Green, they set off like a sky rocket.
While I liked the premise and the very colourful artwork, I just didn’t connect with any of the protagonists, didn’t get sucked into the story, almost wrinkled my nose at the immaturity of some of the story’s aspects (ME?! Dismissing something as immature?! IMPOSSIBLE!) – but ultimately failed to fully appreciate the story because of Annalee Rogers and her big, enervating superiority complex. I got to severely disliking her condescending psychoanalysing of fellow freshmen early on and she didn’t redeem herself in my eyes by being some kind of here. I like myself a flawed hero, someone who is far from perfect, who has doubts, who makes mistakes, whose character is morally questionable, but Annalee was just too much to stomach, probably because I had sinking feeling that she was the hero readers were supposed to identify with. Well, no. scratch that, that was obviously Norrin, the only “hero” without superpowers. Still, Annalee’s ever appearance enraged me too much to enjoy the comic and to probably give it proper credit.
Seriously, the story is incredibly violent, the protagonists are pretty flawed, one and all, some aspects are whimsical and quite humorous – all attributes I usually adore in my reading. However, the most amusing parts were the endorsements by Sarah Michelle Gellar:
“If I ever were to read a comic it might be this one.” And one for the second volume “Freshman II? Why isn’t it called sophomores?”
And by Joss Whedon: “Super powered teens, angst, action and comedy…I don’t get it.”
This somehow doesn’t seem enough. If I treated “Freshmen” as an introductory Volume whose main purpose is in establishing the different characters, heroes and villains alike, I might feel inclined to pick up the second volume just to see where this is heading. I’m not so sure I will, though. Not if there are so many other series to catch up on. It’s a shame really, because the garishly colourful artwork is right up my alley. The colours almost hurt my eyes. :-)