Unlikely Heroes Studios 2017
Written by John Pence
Pencilled by Zachary Dolan
Inked by Laurie Foster
Coloured by Eve Orozco
Lettered by Erek Foster
For fifteen years, she’s been wandering more or less westward. Maybe she thinks that if she can get far enough from the anarchy and pollution back east, she can leave some of her memories behind. She stops to work when someone can pay her, and then she moves on. Back when such things mattered, she was a hotshot surgeon with a gold-plated diploma. Nowadays she does whatever is needed, whether it’s for gunshots or parasites. Sure, she makes her living as a healer, saving lives when she can. But to stay alive in this broken old world, she has to be ready to take lives, too. And she does.
First things first I saw the first page and thought wow the linework is amazing! I think of myself as something of an art snob and I prefer seeing work like this than to that stuff that’s more abstract or stylised differently. So when seeing what Zachary can do thrilled me beyond what I was hoping for. Of course I should have known considering how much I enjoyed Super but this surpasses even that. The use of page layouts here is exceptional with the use of their angles and perspective which show a great eye for storytelling. The utilisation of backgrounds here is fantastic and helps tell the larger picture. It also doesn't hurt he's got a phenomenal inker and colourist behind him either.
John’s writing here is sharp and easy to follow. I like that we aren’t dipping into the past, well yet anyway, and are starting our journey alongside Dr. Jenny Hanover in the present. It’s much easier to either start at the beginning or join at a time in her life when things begin to happen to her that will tell a weird story and this has all the feel of the latter. Right off the bat we see her trying to find work in order to barter for what she both needs to survive and work. This is a great characterisation of her and of the world she lives in.
While yes I do want to know how the world fell and life became equivalent to the Old West again but that’s something for another day and another arc. Plus I get the distinct impression that she’s not one for reflection of any kind she’s got that always moving forward way about her. So what happens when can’t move forward? I guess that’s what were about to find out. With the way the plot and story structure and development and done I can say that I am not upset to see how things got this way and I’m enjoying seeing her end up where she does.
There’s something about the way Jenny sees things that show how she’s been seasoned by the current landscape. Aside from her not trusting folks and being rather aggressive, which is understandable to say the least, she’s got the eye of a detective. Granted being a doctor comes with its own set of deductive skills and reasoning, to figure out what the ailment is and what treatment is needed so she’s a leg up there. I say all this because of the way that she’s written as both smart-arse and as someone who enjoys one-upping someone to prove you shouldn’t underestimate her.
Gotta say seeing her in action and then seeing what happens when they throw her a little surprise party well it all conspires to set the stage for a different kind of chapter in her life. Maybe just maybe she’s a place she is supposed to be for the foreseeable future. I like how this all played out and how she was manipulated as much she tried to do to them in the beginning. So yeah this has a whole lot of great things going for it and reminds me why I love supporting projects like this. Small indie press companies need the support to keep putting top quality work such as this so join them in their kickstarter campaign, get a physical copy, the arts always better on the page, and help keep entertaining us.