451 Media 2015
Created & Written by Mark Mallouk
Adapted by Andi Ewington
Illustrated by Lee Carter
Coloured by Lee Carter & Eugenio Perez Jr.
This is the second offering from 451 Media that i’ve read and it makes me excited to see another new company trying to find a niche in the industry without relying on capes and powers. So from my point of view this is a story about revenge and redemption through one woman’s journey to reclaim her life and her daughter. It has all the makings of this powerful gripping tale that sucks you in, tugs at your heartstrings and reveals your greatest fear, being helpless.
We open with a narration about CJ. See she hasn’t left her property once in ten years. Her mother comes and it looks like she’s dropping off the monthly groceries and as they talk we get the picture of what’s happened. Her husband murdered and daughter missing presumed dead has scarred her for life and made her afraid of living. Grief it’s a powerful thing and it can all consuming and leave you crippled if you let it.
Lee and Eugenio do some marvelous work here. I’m assuming we see the full page shot of her husband found in the road with the police there. It’s hauntingly realistic. Actually everything they put on these pages seems almost strategic and help flesh out the story in these subtle and important ways. From a child’s drawings on the fridge to CJ without makeup or caring for her appearance to later on when we see other characters introduced and what they do and what they say.
While her mother’s still there CJ gets a postcard in the mail and it’s the fomentation of the journey she’s going to take. We know who took her family away, one Rush Bridge. What we aren’t privy to is just how powerful he truly is. As CJ goes on her newfound mission to find her Sunflower and travels to the town Bridge lives in well you quickly learn that if you ask too many questions you’ll be shut out. This town is seemingly afraid of this man, businesses will close on you or refuse you service he’s that feared. Heck even the police seem to go out of their way to be less than helpful where he’s concerned.
I like this story from everything we see there’s this fear permeating everything. It leaves you almost tense but captivated. No one wants to be seen helping her and she won’t leave so with no training of any kind she’s got to play detective, hero and avenger. I’m eagerly awaiting to see more of her journey and how it changes her even more. She’ll never gain the spark she once had and she’s lost ten years with her daughter but now the lioness going after cub has been awakened. There’s hope in her sights for the first time in a decade and that’s a powerful thing.
There’s so much emotion in this issue with the writing, adapting, characterization and the interior artwork that you get easily swept up in CJ’s story. It’s great to see such an intelligent and emotionally charged story being told this way. I love that this medium can be used to tell these stories.