Friday, January 17, 2014
"I have to tempt you somehow, right?"
If you've made it to Hell, something went wrong. If you're the right-hand of a king, something went right (or wrong). In both cases, you may not necessarily enjoy your lot and life and have agendas of your own. Characters Sinful Suzi and Obsidian Stone are two such individuals who have different things in mind for their roles in life. Sin Boldly One-Shot from Image Comics introduces readers to those stories. Both "Hell is Waiting" and "Burning Roses" are written and illustrated by Joseph Michael Linsner and lettered by Jeff Eckleberry.
In "Hell Is Waiting," Sinful Suzi learns a lesson about the wages of sin. She's trapped in hell and wants out, counting a deal made with Satan to do so. What she doesn't realize though is that she's been played and she'll have to find another way out. In "Burning Roses," Obsidian Stone loses an old friend to betrayal and is tasked with reconciling the wrong. His prize is a medal that is sought by others as well, prompting Obsidian to walk the line between faith and betrayal himself.
Both Sinful Suzi and Obsidian Stone are characters who have been around for a while, yet have never been in a story before. Linsner remedies that with the Sin Boldly One-Shot and both characters have their own personalities. Suzi is seductive and intelligent, ruthlessly flaunting her appearance as a manipulative tactic to get out of Hell (she even makes a tongue in cheek comment about using her beauty for tempting). Obsidian capitalizes on his appearance as well, using his lack of one eye as a means for lulling his opponents into a false sense of security. The two are very similar in that they have grander end-games in mind and are content with using whomever cross their paths as pawns if necessary. The stories are simple enough, but read pretty quickly and rather effortlessly.
Linsner also handles the art duties and he does a great job considering the stories are black and white. Characters show a lot of detail in their faces and features and the demons in hell show a pretty good amount of variety. He manages to make both stories feel as if they actually take place in a modern view of society, with things like waiting in line and unconventional governments on full display. Panel layouts are largely of the rectangular variety, but Linsner does offer a myriad of different ways they're actually laid out on the page. Both Suzi and Obsidian are illustrated with a lot of attention to detail and in ways that really harness their character and personality.
Sin Boldly One-Shot is a pretty fun book that factors in characters who haven't really had much of a chance to carry their own stories. Both are very interesting characters who could definitely carry their own books if Linsner was so inclined. He hasn't lost anything when it comes to art as well, considering both characters are illustrated very well with clean lines and a sheen finish. The black and white is a nice touch and fits the book's theme as well and here's hoping that we get more Linsner in the immediate future, beyond just the upcoming Dawn/Vampirella crossover. Sin Boldly One-Shot is a relatively lighthearted take on some otherwise rather dark material.
Sin Boldly One-Shot is in stores now.