Image Comics 2016
By Kaare Kyle Andrews
Lettered & Designed by Jeff Powell
Flats by Alice Ito
We like to throw words around like innovative, unique, bold and daring when we describe things and that’s because the sensationalist society we live in needs them to garner attention. So when a book really is one of those rare entities that encompasses those words it seems your voice gets lost in a sea sound. Hopefully however those words have some power still left in them and will get your attention and check out something that excites the writer, like myself, who reviews a series.
What Kaare manages to bring to us is this incredible story about a boy who is brought home and isn’t who he is supposed to be. The original Renato Jones was killed by his grandmother and the family butler then raised him to adulthood in order to fulfill his own agenda. Renato is a trained killer now and his target is the ONE% of society who think they are immune to the laws that govern society. He shows us an rivaled look at their sense of entitlement and depravity in search of new depths of pleasure and ways of making themselves even richer.
The way he spends time in each issue showcasing Renato’s youth balanced with his adult self we see how he was raised and how came to be in love with Bliss. His best friend in all the world who understands him better than even the man who raised him. There’s one thing that she has in common with his surrogate father however and that’s that they both know how to play him like a fiddle and have done so since they’ve first met.
No one gets killed this issue it’s all about characterization and background information. It’s a great look at Renato, growing up and that the staff see him as touched as his mother kind of cements the fact they believe him to be the real mccoy. I love the way that this issue ties into what we’ve already seen as well. Bliss’ father was warned that the killer was close to him and suspicion was thrown Renato’s way though unconfirmed as of yet. It’s an amazing way to keep the story moving forward while focusing on the past and actually getting us to see a young boys motivation to be led to the path he’s on now.
Kaare’s unique style of illustrative artwork is as strong and powerful as his words are. It’s like he’s totally unafraid to go full on balls to the wall and show us things that would give others pause. The use of pages and panels have this original quality to them that you can’t see anywhere else and it’s the little touches, like the opening pages feeling like old photos with lines and creases, that makes this stand out. He’s got this amazing eye for storytelling and he has this instinctual knack for what to focus on and give you that impact the story so deserves.
There’s something about the one man is able to do the writing and illustration in a series that makes it seem that much more impressive. The talent on display is so astonishing and the imagination and creativity we get to witness is beyond imagining. This is why we read comics and get lost in creator owned projects and crave those ideas that stand out. This is what you need to be reading and what other creators need to take notice of.