Check out Rose City’s very own superhero, Saint John! Find out who is the masked man who roams Portland, Oregon, and the journalist investigating him in Saint John #1 by Dark Horse Comics!
SAINT JOHN #1
Writer: Dan Schkade and Brennan Wagner
Artist: Dan Schkade
Colorist: Brennan Wagner
Letterer: Frank Cvetkovic
Editor: Megan Walker
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: September 13th, 2023
Previously in Saint John: Check out the new partnership between Dark Horse Comics and clothing line Portland Gear. Manhattan journalist Tori Slate travels to Portland, Oregon, to learn more about a new hero, a man who roams the city doing good deeds and then disappears without a trace.
Saint John #1 opens on Tori Slate, taking the Red Line from the airport to downtown. During the trip, someone starts choking when the new masked hero suddenly appears to do the Heimlich maneuver and then leaves. Over the course of the next few days, Tori looks for the masked man known by the people as Saint John. He seems to show up exactly when needed to do seemingly ordinary heroics that others hesitate to do. When Tori meets him again, Saint John decides to let her shadow him and answer basic questions. He seems to just listen to some supernatural force and is told where to go to help people, which mainly includes minor accidents that he helps people avoid and disputes. Of note, he encourages Tori to help someone when a building is about to collapse, his altruism rubbing off on her. The story ends with Tori returning to New York, realizing she may have more questions than answers.
I’m caught off guard by this partnership with a clothing company. After a quick Google search, I don’t see the online store advertising this comic at all. It seems silly to help with a comic and not put up a t-shirt or something.
That said, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Saint John #1. It gave me a lot to think about, and I related to the desire to help. When I visited Portland in 2019, I recalled thinking similar things to Tori Slate here and believing the “weirdness” of Portland was related to an overwhelming superficial kindness mixed with a sense of urgency. It was a weird feeling trying to manage the feel of the city that was unlike anything I remember. Saint John #1 captures that feeling very well, and the unique nature of Saint John provides an exciting lens through which Saint John is almost an idealized version of oneself. With fantastic art, I think this comic sets out what the creative team wanted from the story. Great work here by Dan and Brennan.
I can’t really find any fault in Saint John #1. The pacing feels good, the writing is engaging, and the art is dynamic. And perhaps most importantly, it is memorable. While I don’t think it is a perfect book, this deserves a 5 out of 5-star review, as I can’t think of what advice I would give to improve it.
Dear Spoilerite,At Major Spoilers, we strive to create original content that you find interesting and entertaining. Producing, writing, recording, editing, and researching requires significant resources. We pay writers, podcast hosts, and other staff members who work tirelessly to provide you with insights into the comic book, gaming, and pop culture industries. Help us keep MajorSpoilers.com strong. Become a Patron (and our superhero) today.
Saint John #1
Saint John #1 provides an exciting insight into an incredible city and what it truly means to be altruistic.