E.X.O. – The Legend Of Wale Williams PART ONE [Chap. 1 – 7]

(20 customer reviews)


E.X.O. – The Legend of Wale Williams Part One is a superhero story about redemption, set in a futuristic, 2025 Africa! The 136-page graphic novel follows the journey of Wale Williams, an impetuous young man who inherits a suit with superpowers after his father goes missing. Tricked into returning home to Lagoon City, Nigeria following a five-year absence, Wale embarks on a journey to investigate his father’s mysterious disappearance. As he comes to understand the suit’s powers, Wale realizes he must restore hope to his city by preventing catastrophic attacks from the sociopathic, Oniku, leader of an extremist group called The CREED.

“Bout time.” – Jamie Foxx

Rated – T (Teen) | Page Count – 136

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Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Roye Okupe is a creative specialist who holds both a Bachelor’s and Masters in computer science from The George Washington University. His passion for animation led him to found YouNeek Studios in 2012, an avenue that would allow him to pursue his dream of creating a diverse library of superheroes. Under that umbrella, Roye wrote, produced and directed several animated productions including, but not limited to, 2D/3D animated short films, TV commercials, show openers, music videos and much more. These productions have allowed Roye to attain many prestigious recognitions such as being #5 on Ventures Africa’s list of 40 African innovators to watch (2016) as well as being part of NewAfrican Magazines’ 100 most influential Africans two years in a row (2016 & 2017).

With the superhero genre currently at the height of popularity, Roye has made it a goal to create a connected universe of heroes, with origins from locations that are currently neglected and/or ignored. In August 2015, Roye released his debut graphic novel titled: E.X.O. The Legend of Wale Williams Part One, a superhero story set in a futuristic Nigeria. E.X.O. was received with critical acclaim and has since been featured on CNNForbesThe New York TimesNBCThe GuardianABC7BBCThe Huffington PostMashabe and more! Roye’s sophomore graphic novel: Malika – Warrior Queen was also received with critical acclaim, selling more than 40,000 copies of its chapter one special during Diamond Comic’s Free Comic Book Day (2017). Both books have gone on to win several awards including a Glyph Comic Award (2017) and a Heruica Character Creation Award (2017).


20 reviews for E.X.O. – The Legend Of Wale Williams PART ONE [Chap. 1 – 7]

  1. Press Reactions (verified owner)

    “Bout time.”
    – Jamie Foxx

    “A futuristic African city and a black superhero with predominantly black supporting characters”
    – Mashable

    The designs are very slick and futuristic, and ignore some of the design stereotypes which frequently turn up in many “African set” productions created by less intimate creators. At an initial glance, it has all of fast paced action and hi-tech superhero antics that you would expect of most animated action series on Cartoon Network or NickToons, only it is featuring a brand new hero for a brand new era. The world is a big place, and there’s room for heroes from all lands in it. Keep an eye out for the first volume of “EXO: the Legend of Wale Williams” this summer!
    – The Examiner

    “In a time when the public is beginning to demand for a more diverse slate of superhero comics and movies, YouNeek Studios aims to fill that gap with a library of eclectic characters.”
    – Black Girl Nerds

    “EXO certainly looks like a fun, well thought-out project, and something that could indeed go far towards putting Africa on the superhero fiction map.”
    – FEVA TV

  2. Bruce

    My 8 yr old son asks me each week since he got Part 1, if I can get him Part 2. Can wait for additional works and cartoon.

    • Roye Okupe (verified owner)

      Wow! Thanks for mentioning that Bruce! Honestly it’s because of people like him and you that I keep pushing to put out these stories! Thanks for making my day 🙂

  3. Mtn Pt meh

    I like the art but it lacks a interesting story and I find it to be pretty boring and the main character is rich and smart but acts like someone who isn’t smart most of the time

  4. Adesua Okosun

    This book is amazing, my nephew and I enjoyed every minute of it. He was so excited when I gave him part one and two. I’m so happy he finally has a super hero that he could relate too. Great job

  5. Earl Weaver

    Just finished EXO The Legend of Wale Williams Saga One Part 2 by independent creator and bro Roye Okupe!
    An excellent graphic novel that helps continue to prove that great stories can be done with creators and characters of color.
    Big props also to the artist of the graphic novel, Sunkanmi Akinboye! Every page was better than the last! The quality artwork in this OGN is inspirational. *Cough aspiring artist*.
    Godwin Akpan amazing cover art! Raphael Kazeem aka the colorist set the tone for every panel with finesse ?.
    Props to editor Ayodele Elegba without a doubt!
    Following in the footsteps of greatness here. Taking notes everytime!
    #FaithConsistencyHardWork #StriveForGreatness ?

  6. Michael Grossman (verified owner)

    One of the best new comics I’ve read in a while and maybe the most intriguing new superhero I’ve read in forever. Okupe’s storytelling is sharp and refreshing and doesn’t put you through the paces like many new superhero comics du jour. Wale Williams is a hero that is actually relatable to today’s youth. (Seriously.) Plus the setting and world of Lagoon City is just begging for deeper exploration. The fact that this is one of the first ever African heroes created by an all-African team is groundbreaking in the industry and just icing on the cake for E.X.O.’s strong creative. This is a book to pick up and absolutely a creator to watch.

  7. Alex H.

    Absolutely amazing work from Roye. This graphic novel is fresh yet still familiar, offering heroics from a new perspective and unique setting. This work of art does a great job of laying the foundation to what has grown into a shared universe full of diverse characters.

  8. Edjoel Apeagyei Afriyie

    Watched the The legend of Wale EXo part 1 and I’m impressed. Its got this African vibe that makes you relate to it easily. But i think there’s more room for improvement. Can’t wait to watch the other stories by Roye. Good job

  9. AHMED

    First book of the YouNeek Universe. While I agree with one of the reviewers that the story wasn’t the most interesting it’s only the first book. Part two is more fun and well written and Malika Warrior Queen is even better. I think Roye’s writing is constantly improving and honestly there are plenty of books with boring white protagonists. Simply having Black characters that aren’t tied to a white comic book universe is important. So while I see this book as 4 stars it gets a 5 for what it means for the culture.

  10. Keith Churchill (verified owner)

    It’s been a little while since I read EXO, so all of the details are not fresh in my head, but I do remember this graphic novel as standing out. It had a good story filled with emotion, action, and character development. It was refreshing to see a strong, black super hero (and one that wasn’t created by white guys). I’d say it reminded me of Milestone comics, but it didn’t. This was different, cleaner, and more modern. The artwork was very good. I think that this book could stand along side many, many other comics out there and would not be out of place if it was published by Image. I’ll reserve 5 stars for my absolute favorites (Neil Gaiman, Jeff Lemire). 3 stars is average. I rate this book 4 stars – above average. Excellent work.

  11. cd kennedy

    the preview of E.X.O. had me scrolling down the page, drawing me into the story’s characters. I was looking for a for my sister’s grandchildren that reflected the image of themselves but, as I read i was thrilled and hopeful to find when they read it it may also spark a curiosity not only in science but the continent and culture of Afrika. they are all in grade school and I’m hoping that they will read part one aloud, question, and research together. or even begin to create their own super heroes.

  12. Jermaine

    The starting point to an entirely new, creator-owned comicbook/graphic novel universe featuring people of color through the eyes of an African comic book creator.

    It’s been a good while since those humble beginnings, but I recall happening upon E.X.O. sometime back. It was going through its Kickstarter then, and though I couldn’t participate until after E.X.O. Part 2 came out, long before that point, I knew I had found a gem in the making.

    Suffice it to say, I was not disappointed. After it’s enjoyably teasing cold opening, Part 1 of “E.X.O. – The Legend of Wale Williams” starts off detailing the young Wale’s past, on the outset via a, largely, typical family dinner following his and his younger brother Timi’s victories in their respective martial arts tourneys. However, all’s not roses at home, and it’s not long after that tragedy leads Wale to leave his home and wander around the world for 5 years. Not long after he returns, we get a glimpse of just who Wale really is at the core.

    This is just the first part of a two part story, and I’ll say right now, it’s definitely worth it to get both parts right off the bat. For this part, I loved getting to know Wale and the people in his life. He’s a hero long before he dons the titular suit, as we learn when he instinctively stops some thugs accosting a lady for her money.
    That’s also the second point we get to see Wale in action, after the teaser, and the artstyle shows its appeal. It blends just enough realism to breathe humanistic life into the characters, their actions, and the world they live in, while also maintaining that awesome, kick-butt comic book flair that’s always drawn me to comics and gives them their flavor. And not gonna lie, Wale looks blush-and-swoon-worthy in coolness whenever he does what he comes to do best. Being a hero.

    Once again, this is only the first part, and it deals with Wale’s first steps to becoming Lagoon City’s first superhero, as well as the serious ramifications of his personal failings for leaving his family and friends behind after the tragic events of 5 years ago, and last but not least the ongoing rumblings of something dark and sinister taking hold of Lagoon City inch by inch.

    I wholeheartedly recommend both this book, and its second part, especially to comic book and superhero fans, both in general and in specific.

  13. Milton Duggins Jr.

    Excellent book. Great read!

  14. Joan Rust (verified owner)

    I’m a high school English teacher. Adding EXO to my classroom library was a huge hit! I have many refugee students from African countries. In the current political climate of the USA, this book was a way for me to show that I value my students. Thank you for empowering them!

  15. Dauchon

    This book was a good read and Im glad to have backed it on Kickstarter.
    The continuation of the Story in the 2nd Book felt natural and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the story.

  16. Gary Beck Dallaghan

    As I was reading PREVIEWS last year, I saw the cover for the second trade paperback of this title. I was so drawn by the cover art that I decided to buy volumes 1 and 2 to give it a shot. The description seemed interesting enough so I figured it would be worth it. I was right.

    Wale Williams is a young African man estranged from his father, returns home to Lagoon City, Nigeria in 2025. Wale discovers that his father is missing upon his return. Wale also realizes that the poorest areas of the region, mostly along the outskirts, are beleaguered by a mysterious man known as Oniku and his C.R.E.E.D. organization. Upon arriving at his dad’s home, he finds an encrypted message on his computer from his father, alluding to his own demise as well as instructing him to go to his home lab, where a sentient computer system and exosuit await him.

    E.X.O. stands for Endogenic Xoskeletal Ordnance and is what gives Wale superhuman abilities.

    With the suit and the newfound tech, Wale must defend his home, protect his family, search for his father and protect Lagoon City. There are awkward moments of him trying to figure out how to use the suit, even though the computer is telling him how to do things. It’s a lot like what you would have expected to have happened when Cyborg was first learning how to interface with all of his new tech appendages.

    When Timi, Wale‘s younger brother, gets hurt, Wale’s frustration is further inflamed by his need for revenge and he jumps into situations blindly just to exact retribution upon Oniku. Zahra, his former girl friend, seems to be the only one who can talk sense to him when he needs it. Although, at times, it seems, even that isn’t enough.

    Wale knows he must confront Oniku otherwise he will destroy Lagoon City, but unbeknownst to Wale, Oniku is more concerned with Wale than the city itself. Layer that with a mysterious female warrior, Fury, who seems to know more about Oniku’s plans, Wale’s tech, his father’s disappearance and why PRYTECH weapons are involved.

    E.X.O. The Legend of Wale Williams is a fantastic comic with positive images of a young Black man and modern Africa that is relatable on many levels. Both trades are worth picking up, although you’ll have to special order them most likely. Roye Okupe delivered an African superhero unlike anything we’d ever seen before. There are more characters to come from this creator at YouNeek Studios. I’m looking forward to more.

  17. C. Oliver

    This is easily one of the best graphic novels I’ve ever read! Very compelling story. Love the fluent dialogue. The artwork was amazing. There was absolutely nothing to dislike about it. I will be recommending it to any and everyone. Keep it going.

  18. Anthony (verified owner)

    I bought Part 1 and Part 2 of E.X.O. and love both books. For me, an excellent story with excellent art should go hand in hand together. If one of the elements are missing, I will not enjoy reading the comic book whatsoever. For me, many of the comic books of today are missing one of the elements to attract new readers as well as keeping existing readers. I half way done with reading Malika now, but honestly, I would like to see more of YouNeek Studios. I am glad I found the work on Facebook for I would not know anything about them at all.

  19. tasha_turner

    This has been a hit with a number of kids I’ve given it to. I backed on Kickstarter but since then have bought additional copies as birthday and holiday gifts. The kids are all hoping it gets made into a movie and are thrilled with each additional release by YouNeek studios. I’ve yet to give it to someone and not have questions about where to buy it and if there are more in the series.

  20. Christopher Winston (verified owner)

    Just finish reading it and this is an amazing story and very interesting. This is a must-read!

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