AWA Upshot Studios 2020
Written by Christa Faust
Illustrated by Mike Deodato Jr.
Coloured by Lee Loughridge
Lettered by Dezi Sienty
April Walters is a hit-and-run victim of life – a middle-aged soccer mom whose inner fire has been snuffed out by her dreary suburban existence. When her teenage daughter goes missing under mysterious circumstances, April embarks on a harrowing mission to find her; a journey that takes her through the underbelly of her suburban community and sets her on a collision course with a massive crime syndicate and its lethal matriarch. Tested to her limits and beyond, April discovers that hell hath no fury like a mother scorned.
So AWA Studios and Upshot Studios have very quickly cented their place in my top ten companies whose books I absolutely have to read. Each and every book that I have had the privilege and honour to read thus far has far exceeded any and all of my expectations on every single level. This one is no different and for a slew of reasons and while I wasn’t sure exactly what the title was supposed to represent by the end of the issue I certainly had a very strong suspicion.
I really like the way that this is being told. The story & plot development we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented and keeps the story moving forward beautifully. This being the first issue introduction can oftentimes be harder to snag your attention right away but Christa has no problems doing that here. The opening is superb and it does wonders in introducing us the main character. Right away I am intrigued and interested to know about this woman. The character development is interesting because we just get this surface skim on the people we see. Thanks to the dialogue and interactions with one another we know there’s a ton bubbling under the surface and this just wets the appetite. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the world they live in we see how well all of this works together to create the story’s ebb & flow.
I am digging the way that this is structured. The way we meet the characters and how we see what is and what could be happening is laid out perfectly. This is engaging, intriguing and is a great read.
Mike has always been one hell of a great illustrator but man he’s on the top of his game here. The linework we see is exquisite and how he utilises the varying weights and techniques here brings us this crazy good attention to detail. Then add into the mix the way we see backgrounds here and with as much detail work as in the characters really enhance the moments while bringing us some great depth perception, a sense of scale and that overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts is phenomenal and how we see the angles and perspective in the pages show a masters eye for storytelling. The colour work is divine! How we see the myriad of hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is extremely impressive.
Everyone should be reading this because what I see here and the potential for what’s to come is going to keep you riveted to the page. Just the way we see the events unfold and how things go from there as well as that ending we see, this is going to be one of those heavy hitter stories that if you miss out on it now you’re going to be sorry later when you try to play catch up.