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Senter
Status: Sporadic
Genre: Action
Rating:
A turf war between two gangs of super-powered individuals is shaken up by the arrival of a women with a bizarre, game-changing ability.

Senter has a very charming amateur kind of feel. The artist clearly isn’t super talented but if feels like she has a lot of passion and is trying her damndest.

A lot of this comic is just shot-reverse-shot panels of a close-up of a characters face making a totally neutral expression or a simplified anime expression. They’re not copy-pasted, though, each one is drawn from scratch. I think this weirdly helps make the art a lot more dynamic than it would be if there were more action scenes. The few action scenes in this comic tend to look pretty stiff, especially early on. By narrowing the scope of a shot, the author is able to work more freely within the confines of her abilities, and I think it was a smart move.

It also helps make Senter stand out from its competition. A superhero comic that has less of a focus on action sequences is quite uncommon and it’s honestly refreshing to see. The fact that its premise also centers around gang warfare, with supers being the ones comprising the gangs, is another good twist on an extremely tired formula.

I think the coloring is also very serviceable here. There’s a lot of brown and dirty white shades that give the city an appropriately drab feeling. It looks like a place that’s seen better days and I think it perfectly fits the mood.

I suspect, however, that in some panels the author just applied a filter to 3d models to use as the background. It’s pretty conspicuous and doesn’t look good at all. Also in some crowd shots extras are often drown as black stick figures, which, I understand that it’s difficult and time consuming to draw a crowd, but, really?

Some characters have a bit of sameface to them. Kaitou looks like Juro, etc. It’s hard to blame the artist for that since design-wise they’re fine, albeit a bit generic looking. But they all look the part and feel like they fit right into Senter’s world.

The characters themselves are probably my favorite part about this comic. Their relationships and the conversations between them feel very believable. I like this because one of the problems I have with cape comics is how goofy the premise is. Nothing wrong with goofyness, but so many cape comics take themselves way, way too seriously. This isn’t a recent thing, it was just as bad back in the day, with WW2 comics and cold war comics and vietnam war comics and comics about civil rights. They never had anything interesting to say about these topics and they don’t fit in at all with the absurdity of costumed supermen hitting each other.

Senter, on the other hand, has some good themes. Kaiya (and Senter’s) goal to bring order to a world where authority figures have historically been shams is quite interesting, and it raises a lot of questions the comic doesn’t hesitate to explore, such as ‘is such a revolution feasible’, ‘what are the risks involved with gang warfare’, ‘do we have the capability to enact meaningful change if we defeat our rivals’, and ‘how dangerous is it to expose ourselves to the public eye in exchange for their trust?’

Trust and secrets are a huge theme with this comic in general. Every character has things they’re hiding or just don’t feel like sharing and I think it does wonders for adding depth to their relationships.

I kinda wish they talked a bit less during fight sequences though. It’s not super bad or anything, it’s not like they’re monologuing non-stop while throwing attacks like some other comics, and psychological attacks are a key part in the Kotabe’s approach to warfare giving them more of a reason to talk, but still, most people don’t talk AT ALL when in a fight. Fights are intense, and you can only concentrate on one thing at a time. Ah well.

Another aspect of this comic I really enjoy is the timing. It’s kind of hard to explain but the author knows how to utilize pauses in a conversation really well. If you’ve ever seen this Calvin & Hobbes strip, it reminds me a lot of that, just less humorous and more dramatic.



By the by, something I’ve noticed is that Senter consistently uses the wrong ‘your’. ‘Your’ is so commonly used in place of ‘you’re’ that it makes me wonder if it was done on purpose, but… why? It might be an ESL thing, there’s some other weird spelling/grammar mistakes too.
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