Ember Quade is a teenage girl who learned last year that she is an Inhuman. She knows her powers interfere with electronics, but she isn't sure how exactly. After a group of bullies continually harass her, she learns she can make hardlight constructs out of pixel-like building blocks. After these go awry, her power attracts the attention of Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl.
Marvel Rising Alpha #1 continues the story of Marvel Rising #0, though the connection is mostly tangential. The ending to #0 hinted at another Inhuman in Kamala's class, and it continues the developing friendship of Doreen and Kamala.
This comic is targeting a younger audience, but it does it with more fun and creativity than the recent Ralph Macchio and Andrea di Vito one-shots. Kamala and Doreen are lovable heroes, and their personalities are well represented here. They play off one another well.
Ember is a sympathetic character. Her story focuses on bullying and how its dynamics have changed. Videogames and their periphery are a subject of the comic. That may come off as pandering to some; it feels organic in the story though.
The biggest flaw is the padding, and it leads to a dragging pace in the midpoint of the comic. Things become a little dull there as a result. Some of the dialogue is a bit cheesy too, but it's not as bad as some may expect in a comic like this.
Georges Duarte brings an energetic and lively art style to the book. Motion, expression, and a general dynamism are put on display. It's reminiscent of anime/manga art style, but there are some western accents to the general aesthetic. Rachelle Rosenberg brings a very light and airy color palette, and it matches the tone of the book.
Marvel Rising Alpha #1 has its flaws, but the book is fun enough so that those flaws can be easily overlooked. The leads are two of Marvel's most lovable characters, and the artwork is charming and distinct from other Marvel books. This one comes recommended. Check it out.