ďWannabe, part 1Ē
Writer: Joe Quesada
Artist: Joshua Middleton
Well, I have to admit it. Joe Q can tell a good story. Iíve never read anything heís written before and wasnít sure what this would be like, but Iím impressed. Maybe I just donít know any better, but every character in this sounded real to me, and Iím always hesitant when middle-aged men write dialogue for teenage girls. But it works. Especially with the amount of time heís taking to establish Kidenís character. Kiden, for those of you who donít know, is a troubled high school girl who saw her father shot in front of her when she was a child. Now sheís acting out, taking drugs, partying and fighting at school. Oh yeah, and sheís a mutant. Her power manifests itself for the first time in the final pages of this issue, and much like the opening flashback, there is a nice sense of wonder and just plain old-fashioned good storytelling.
This is enhanced dramatically by Middletonís artwork. Not only are the people and settings realistic and expressive, but the colors play a major part in establishing the scene. The flashback in the opening pages is done in nicely muted, pale tones, which contrast sharply with the bright colors and play of light and shadow in the club on the following pages (as well as the rest of the book). The shift into purple tones when Kidenís power manifests is very smooth and subtle, giving the scene an otherworldly feel. And thatís not even taking into consideration the actual artwork. From page layout to final inks, this is beautiful. Iíd already seen the flashback scene in an online preview but upon opening the book I was immediately back in the moment and startled by the murder of Kidenís dad. The violence of that act reverberates through the rest of the issue and I am very interested in where this story is going to go. I canít think of any platitudes to apply to Middletonís art that havenít already been used, so Iím going to let it go at that. Beautiful. Says it all, really.
Thereís some adult subject matter here that might offend some more prudish readers, but to hell with them. This is a good story about realistic teens with a hint of mutant abilities thrown in at the end for good measure. Hell, it could be written by a one-eyed monkey with the clap and it would be worth buying for the art alone. Iím hoping for an oversized hardback of this baby. Keep your fingers crossed.
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