Written by Michael Norwitz & Mary Ann Vaupel
Illustrated by Enrico Carnevale
Coloured by Andrea Blanco
Lettered by HdE
Mythology, superheroes, punk rock and kinky sex! In the troubled metropolis of Santa Mira, Javier Sanchez discovers strange activity in the company where he works. He finds himself attacked by freakish thugs, while his co-workers become drawn into their own dark mysteries.
I love comics and the fact that there are so many of them out there to be discovered is something that makes me incredibly happy. Stories about the gods of myth are as prevalent in so long as there has been an oral history and yet we are still captivated by them and find new ways to tell their tales. Mixing the past and present Michael and Mary Ann have found a fresh way to update an old idea where love and war are locked in an eternal struggle, not against each other as you might assume to be to find a way to finally be together once again.
I like the way that this is structured and how the opening manages to not only get the reader excited for what’s to come but how it gets them involved. Right off the bat we meet Rusty who has a news-stand in the city where he knows his regulars and attempts to make new ones. Affable and interesting who has an eye on what’s going on with whom yeah I would tie him into the gods in some fashion but I will leave that for the writers. If he is then yay, if not then oh well he’s just someone with a miraculous memory and way about him.
I like the dual storytelling technique that we see going on here. While we get to meet characters that will I assume be playing large roles in this story in the present we also see the actions in the past that are affecting what we see playing out in the present. I like how it manages to engage the reader and brings them into the story so that like what I am doing I am finding reasons for how it all fits. Of course what I think and what will end up being the truth could be two totally different things but I am engaged and that’s the whole point. It is a creative story that transports the reader to a place and time they wouldn’t have gone on their own which for me is what good storytelling is all about.
I am very much liking the interiors here though I will say that this greatly benefits from how backgrounds are being utilised as we see them in these pages. Backgrounds expand the story and the world they inhabit and if done properly then they also add extra characterisation. The difference in style between the past and present is interesting and done in a sort of stained glass style in how the gods are portrayed. I would’ve loved to see that done in some highly realistic manner instead of near cave paintings but it does what it is supposed to nicely. The utilisation of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective show a solid eye for storytelling and the linework and colours really do make the people and moment pop.
The transitions from segment to segment are handled extremely well and it’s smooth and all fits together in a way that is wonderful to see. So when we get to Leilani, the young woman at the club and Javier & Astrid it seems the cast of characters all have not only secrets but ties to one another that will make life interesting at least for us. The characterisation is stellar and the way it helps the story unfold and move forward is really nice to see.
Once again it’s time for my plea that y’all look outside the majors and consider the minor and independent leagues because it’s stories like this one that remind us why we started reading them in the first place.