Adventures of the Untouchables is a gritty urban crime drama that interweaves action, interpersonal relationships, and the harsh realities of life on the streets. The publishers of the comic Augustus Publishing, refers to it as “hip-hop literature” and feels that it is an exciting new genre that features fast-paced action, gritty inner-city realism, along with realistic social messages about the high price of the life style on the street. It is the considered opinion of the crew over at Augustus that their brand of urban literature offers new and exciting content that caters to a growing demographic of Latino population, African Americans, and hip hop music fans.
Having said all of that, this initial comicbook offering puts us right in the middle of a turf war in Capital City shortly after a new regime has taken over, the crime rate risen dramatically and the poor have been left stranded to turn to The Untouchables for justice. Political corruption is rampant and police brutality is at an all-time high as a group of local gangs have been organized by an evil underworld group called Vermin that is working with the corrupt powers that run the city. The Vermin are people that have given themselves over to dark forces and now work against the good people of Capital City in order to achieve their own personal gain. All of which has resulted in Capital City becoming a police state where people struggle to survive. However, all is not lost, from a project entitled Glass Manor has risen a crew with the strength of character to stand up and fight back in order to win the respect of the people. This new crew is composed of Ishmael, 30, Mr. Dink, Half, & Miss Xela all of whom fight together as one to become Untouchable.
The Untouchables was created by Ishmael Ford-Bey and Tramp Daly. It is written by Tramp and Newton Cohen, and illustrated by Leonartist. The art is very dynamic and the story itself successfully captures the look and feel of a hard life on the mean streets of an inner cityscape. There is no glamorization of what is going on here. This is a tough, brutal life and the comic doesn’t pull any punches (even the dialogue itself conveys a street-savvy feel). This introductory comic that we saw is backed up by some text features as well as some preview material for the upcoming issues. In addition to the comic, Augustus also publishes a line of prose novels as well as produces online animated adventures of these characters. All of which comes together to form a very robust publishing concern.
These animation episodes take viewers on a through entertaining and gripping ride combining fantasy and reality as it delves into the lives of these five underground heroes as they exist in a world that is not so much different than our own. According to Whyte, a hip-hop journalist, “These titles were being labeled ‘street fiction.” Wary of being given a tag with negative connotations, Whyte along with Claiborne, a creative director, Entrepreneur, and childhood friend, coined the term “Hip-Hop Literature” and thus a new literary genre was born.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comicbooks for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular comicbook articles and reviews.