Thursday, December 30, 2010

Review - Bonnie Lass #1

Save for the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy we're faced with a shortage of pirates in media today. I'm not sure if it's because people don't really care about pirates or if writers and artists feel there's more interesting subjects to tackle, but the reality is it's somewhat rare. Someone at Red 5 comics didn't get that memo as they've just released Bonnie Lass #1, a modern take on pirates. Does it do the name "pirate" justice?

The book (written by Michael Mayne and Tyler Fluharty and illustrated by Mayne) follows Bonnie Lass, a buxom swashbuckler desperately trying to escape her father's shadow as one of the most renowned treasure hunters. She's joined by her brother, Benjamin Lass, and friend Trick Fischer in their quest for a treasure: the Eye of Leviathan. We're introduced to her in a somewhat predictable manner (hero removes cloak to reveal badassness), but shortly thereafter we realize that Bonne Lass is more than just ample measurements. She does, indeed, have a propensity to kick ass and takes out the entire bar in an effort to maintain a scroll that potentially leads to the treasure.

Probably the best thing about Bonnie Lass is the characterization. Mayne and Fluharty have done a pretty good job of infusing Bonnie with tremendous sass and swagger, something you would expect to find in a swashbuckling heroine. Benjamin and Trick play their supportive roles well; part tactical support for Bonnie's missions and part comic relief. It's clear that Bonnie is the undisputed leader of the trio and the other two will readily follow her into any melee or donnybrook with no questions asked. Trick even calls out a surfboard in one shot (fans of Arrested Development will know what I'm talking about here).

The issue blended action and dialogue very well. Bonnie refuses to quit being sarcastic even when getting kicked in the face which will possibly be annoying to some readers, but welcome to others. Not annoying in the sense of its delivery but annoying in the sense that you'll either love or hate Bonnie Lass as a character. Kudos to the writing duo for infusing their title character with so much, well, character, in the first issue. Mayne's artwork also fits the story and content very well, incorporating numerous facial expressions to work alongside the dialogue. You have to wonder though if Mayne was going through a Tomb Raider phase while creating Bonnie Lass as she shares the same outfit (short shorts and a tight, midriff tank top).

Bonnie Lass #1 is Red 5 Comics' first foray into digital only publishing. It's currently available on comiXology and iVerse for $1.99. There's no word as to whether Red 5 will do a print run, but if you're looking for a new digital comic to check out I'd recommend Bonnie Lass #1. It's a lighthearted and spirited modern take on the pirate adventure that features lots of action and tons of rapid fire dialogue.

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