Benitez Productions 2016
Story & Written by Marcia Chen
Story & Pencils by Joe Benitez
Inks by Joe Weems, Marco Calli & Victor Llamas
Coloured by Studio F, Mike Garcia, Sabine Rick & Nathan Cabrera
Lettered by Comicraft’s Michael Heisler
Alright so here we are getting to know Melanie more as she’s a Wraithborn and hasn’t been educated to what that means. I’m kind of glad I missed this series first time around and that it’s fresh, new and exciting for me. I’ll assume it’s been tweaked a bit to make it seem more now than when it came out originally and even if it hasn’t well it doesn’t show. This has all the earmarks of television shows that I see surging in popularity on cable stations right now.
As Melanie goes to school she’s beginning to see more things that she hasn’t encountered before. Zoe however has. I like this girl she’s got that look about her of a teenager with her own unique style and a very voodoo/hoodoo family background. The act she,Zoe, puts on for others is something to see that N’awlins drawl comes across incredibly well here and that’s not exactly easy to do. Reading it out loud helps too and let’s face when it comes to accents who doesn’t read them aloud, it’s ok you admit it even if it’s to yourself.
Oh my I’m in love with both two page spreads in this issue. Holy mother of Pearl Bailey are these strong, powerful and gorgeously frightening scenes. There’s an almost familiar terror in the creatures we see and those that hunt for their Queen. Joe and company bring the artwork here to some level that is hard to achieve and while there isn’t one bad image there certainly many where they stand out and capture your attention and imagination showing you a world you’d love to visit. Kind of like when Dorothy went over the rainbow.
I do like seeing Melanie at school how overlooked she is by pretty much everyone. There are a couple of moments in the cafeteria that really kind of define the kind of life she’s having. So much room for continued character growth that I can’t wait to see how Marcia is going to bring her along. She really is the lonely, sad little girl with few to no friends and she’s undergoing something so monumental and has to deal with it on her own that the empathy we feel for her is so genuine.
Now aside from the incredible characterization the story advancement is delightful. No jumping right into it, i’m not a fan of wham you’ve got abilities and bam you know how to use them. There has to be a build up and an understanding of the character before getting there and that is something Marcia is doing. I’m loving the pacing and slow introduction of her abilities, potential friends, allies and teachers.
Joe is an amazing artist and he has been for quite some time. So his eye for how all this needs to be laid out and flow through an issue is a true treat. From the dream sequences through her life to the other world the inks and colours on his work make for some of the most dynamic and detailed illustration on stands. The sheer amount of work we see on any give page, panel or character is mind blowing.
This is the perfect time to be bringing this back. With so many shows based on comics or the supernatural on tv and in movies this is the kind of story that you can get lost in and quite honestly kind of shames the others. There is nothing here that ISN’T extraordinary.