Antarctic Press 2018
Written & Lettered by Bill Williams
Illustrated by Matthew Weldon
Coloured by Tiago Barsa
Mel and her friends gather to hold a wake for her career as a costumed crime-fighter. The next day, sporting an epic hangover, Mel dives right into Jessie's personal life in a misguided attempt to bond with her new partner.
This has become one of my favourite books to read, well and Rags as well. I really am enjoying the writing and interiors here as they have that incredible look and feel to them that makes me as a reader excited just by seeing the cover. How long has it been since you’ve felt that rush of euphoria when you see the cover of a comic book? Then to open it up and read the book and feel that same rush the entire time it’s in your hands? Antarctic Press is doing that for me like the Titans or Legion did way back when I was a teenager.
The way this is structured is extremely well done. The way the book flows and how we go from the opening into the story itself all the way through the last page it has this way about it in revealing information and characterisation that makes you feel a part of things. Granted I am not sure I would like to be a part of Mel’s world but that’s okay. The opening though does expand this world a bit and there seems to be plenty of women in this world that have super-powers or at least fight crime in some way shape of form. It is a nice kind segue if anyone were to want to tackle a new book connected to this one. Which after seeing the Beetle last issue I do so fervently hope she’s coming back again.
Now when we get to the point where Mel and Jessie get together for their training session things do get a bit intense. The writing here is superb and the dialogue and characterisation between these two characters blew me away. Annie Lennox sang the song “There’s a thin line between love and hate” and from what I am seeing here that couldn’t be any truer. It also makes me think of about the road paved with good intentions and I found myself utterly fascinated and horrified at the same time by what transpired here. The connection that grows out this for the reader to the characters is stupendous.
The interiors here are delightful. The utilisation of the varying weights in the linework to establish not only the characters but the city around them through the attention to detail is pure comic book goodness. Yes while there are some rather angst type moments the look, feel and tone of the book still has that brightness that holds promise. This is why I love this look it reminds of the past and holds that promise of the future in its linework and colour work. The colour gradation and the way some moments or items pop more brightly is extremely nice to see. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show off a stellar eye for storytelling. I will say that the way we see backgrounds being utilised is great, I would still like to see more of them. They do wonders in expanding the way we see moments and the size and scope of this world.
This is a phenomenal series so far and it only seems to be getting better and stronger with each issue that comes out. I love that we haven’t jumped into Jessie understanding how to control these powers or that she’s a literal sidekick. While Mel still has a few tricks up her sleeve and she’s depressed about not being super the relationship between them is still growing and evolving. Sure mentor and apprentice is what we see for now and that’s how it should be, for a while. The pacing is sensational and I cannot wait to see what comes next!