The protean tale of a weak, bullied teenager given superpowers gets played through a dark lens more reminiscent of the films Unbreakable or Donnie Darko. Tom Morell is a frail, sickly hemophiliac with a paralyzed right arm and a degenerative nerve disease. He's kept alive by having his overprotective single mom give him shots in the butt every day. Yearning for more freedom, Tom has a brief moment of hope when a cute new girl moves in next door and deigns to talk to him. Things get weirder when Tom is hit by a truck-and survives, with the bonus of super strength. Given his new life, Tom becomes a bit of a jerk and even flirts with being a superhero before complications ensue. This bleak take on the fantastic is reinforced by Pleece's ugly but effective art, and Brian Haberlin's unusual puce-and-blue coloring scheme. The book has a rather abrupt ending, perhaps because it collects a monthly comic that was canceled early. The most interesting aspect of Puckett's tale is the relationship between Tom and his mother-she could easily come off as a caricature but instead holds a number of surprising character developments that help the story seem fresh. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.