I have been a fan of Tom Hart’s work since I picked up a copy of his Angry Criminal mini-comic back in 1991. For a while I did not know where Hart had gone. I stopped seeing his books solicited in the Previews Catalog, so I thought he had moved on to other things. I was happy to find out he had done another book, Daddy Lightning from Retrofit Comics. I ordered a copy as soon as I found out it existed.
Daddy Lightning appears on the surface to be just another story about the insecurities of a new father. Will the father be able to provide for both the child and himself, what will people think of him as a dad, etc. The story almost feels like it goes in circles and is confusing, but that is fatherhood. After reading the additional none comic material in this book, I realize that in Hart’s case this story is much more than just that. This is his story of how he loved that struggle, but never got the chance to conquer it. Hart lost his precious little angel before she turned 2 years old. I wonder if that is why he disappeared from comics for a while?
The story is filled with typical Hart art, which is deceptively simple but packs a punch. I found myself feeling the father’s struggle, no matter how silly the situation might be, including the line about not having pood for a couple days because the father had put all of his child’s need first. About the first half of the book has to do with going poo, a sure since of a winner for me.
While this story might stem from very sad circumstances, I found it really to be uplifting and fun. It’s a must for any comic creator who is also a dad in his civilian life. There just are not enough comic books about being a dad. We really could use more of these and I’m glad Tom Hart created it. Daddy Lightning is 5 STARS in my book!