In a world where superheroes are under contract to protect their cities (or other municipalities), the best group Philadelphia can afford in their ongoing battle with New York City is a team of... unusual... heroes calling themselves "Threshold". The New York Super Syndicate has dozens of powerful heroes all registered with the Establishment (the superhero registry). Threshhold has four heroes who barely seem able to toast a Pop-Tart.
But Threshold take themselves seriously, and as they take on villains both terrifying and bizarre, they wrestle with moral dilemmas, jurisdictional disputes, membership problems, and troubles both mundane and esoteric. And while Threshold squabble and wrestle and attempt to replace a resigning member, some second-rate villains leave New York en route to Philly, figuring they may have a chance against a team like Threshold.
A recipe for disaster? More like a formula for fun!
Tight and realistic stories (if any superhero story can be called "realistic") as heroes deal with rent, meals, contracts, high expectations, success and failure, truth and consequences, pride and commercialism.
David has a real flair for mixing the absurd with the everyday, and for writing characters who are just under that line of excellence. Every story comes chock full of action and adventure, from the overwhelming and mysterious villain in "The Stamp Collector" to the sinister conspiracy of misinformation in "Nico-Teen". But what makes Threshold work is all the stuff that happens in between the fights - and it works wonderfully.
Threshold is a series of series David has been working on for years (the first issue was in 1996), and the time he's taken between the series shows. His art has begun to solidify into a quirky, thick blend of angular faces and wrinkled shirts, heading towards a sort of Ted McKeever look and feel. With straightforward layouts and static backgrounds, the story pulls the reader along here through the competent but still unexceptional art.
Threshold reads as though Keith Giffen is scripting from Grant Morrison plots on "Doom Patrol Meets Justice League Europe", with art by Ted McKeever. The touches of "reality" will resonate with readers of Astro City and even the old Ultraverse books, while the odd heroes and villains will attract readers of Odd Adventure-Zine, Trouble With Girls, Zot!, and maybe even The Tick and X-Files. The darker tone may appeal to fans of the "Heroes Noir" tales of late, such as U.S. and Kingdom Come, and the constant real-world-style dilemmas and problems which the team encounters will tickle readers of Peter David's work. Threshold also crosses over with Death By Chocolate (see next page) and may likewise appeal to readers of X-Files.