The Undersea Adventures of Capt’n Eli: A Review
Comic Books Examiner
By Robert Sodaro
February 4, 2011
If you are looking for adventure, the kind that can only be found between the covers of a book, then you’ll thrill to the epic Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli (Nemo Publishing), an ongoing story from the exhilarating, and engaging imagination of writer/artist Jay Piscopo comes a graphic novel series cut in the tradition of Jules Verne, Herge, and classic comic strips like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. “Capt'n” Eli is actually a young lad of mysterious origins (who, like that young lad from the planet Krypton, arrived in a futuristic pod to be raised by an elderly kindly couple). Accompanying Eli on his outstanding adventures is an eclectic cast of truly delightfully oddball characters, including Jolly Roger(a 200-year-old parrot), Eli’s faithful seadog Barney, the seafaring Seasearchers, the equally mysterious Commander X, Sea Ghost, and many, many others (including an entire undersea kingdom of mer-people), and, well, aliens.
As a comic, Capt'n Eli takes readers into a compellingly exciting world that comes complete with time travel, high-tech ships, flying mini-subs, robots, lost civilizations, and undersea empires in conflict. Capt’n Eli is a truly delightful comic that tells a more entertainingly dense story than you can find in most mainstream comics. Piscopo has an uncanny knack to capture the “educational” storytelling of Julie Schwartz heavily flavored with the wit and style of Stan Lee. His stories are fast-paced, informative, breezy, and move forward with the rapid fire syncopation of well-tuned Jazz.
These are stories that grab your attention right from the get-go and draw you in. His art is clean, sharp, and delivers a photorealistic 3D effect that will keep you coming back for more. Plus his comics are the epitome of what an all-ages comic should be. They are easily accessible for younger readers as well as engaging enough for older readers.
In the first of the two currently available digest-sized comics we meet Capt’n Eli, his family and several of his friends, as well get treated to some of his back story, plus meet the mysterious WWII hero apparently turned villain, Commander X. In some 100 pages Piscopo lays the groundwork for everything that is to follow, by hinting at some things, while shrouding others is mystery, he even treats us to a number of celebrity illustrated pin-ups and a 10-page “Golden Age back-up featuring Commander X and other Ultras (or Mystery Men), from the ‘40s. The second volume throws us pell-mell into an undersea war, court intrigue time travel and well, so much that you’re simply going to have to buy both issues to find out what is happening. Then when you’re done, head on over to the Capt’n’s website and see all of the other very cool things that Piscopo has prepared for you, you’ll be glad you did.