Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review - Father's Day #1

"Why are they chasing Better yet, who are you?"

There are two days every year meant to celebrate parents in Mother's Day and Father's Day. The days are supposed to be testaments to parents and all they endure in trying to raise children. Very rarely does it involve a daughter seeking her hitman father out after years of separation, but that's what Dark Horse is going for in Father's Day #1. The issue is written by Mike Richardson, illustrated by Gabriel Guzmán, colored by Java Tartaglia and lettered by Nate Piekos.

As a mob enforcer he was called the Eastside Butcher, but twenty years later Silas has found peace. That is, until his abandoned daughter Denise shows up to give him a piece of her mind and unwittingly leads a legion of hit men to settle accounts with Silas. What ensues is some father-daughter bonding against the backdrop of mob violence. It's the type of violence that a man like Silas just can't seem to escape.

A parent's relationship with their child has its ups and downs, but the downs are emphasized more when it comes to abandonment. That's the tone Richardson takes in Father's Day #1, pitching the strained relationship between Silas and Denise as the crux of the story. It's an interesting dynamic between the two that propels the story forward rather quickly, with Denise learning of Silas' past decisions alongside the reader. It's a subtle way of delivering the information that feels appropriate, giving the reader just enough of a loose thread to pull out of intrigue without giving too much else away. And Silas clearly built a reputation for himself, which makes the question as to what exactly he was/is capable of very exciting.

Guzmán's illustrations are well-intentioned, showcasing an intricate level of detail in character facial expressions and clothing. Guzmán puts a of effort in the wrinkles of Silas' shirt or Denise's furrowed brow to ensure the reader knows what emotion prevalent. Some character poses look a little awkward, such as one where Silas is laying on his stomach and his head looks slightly askew. Leaving the gutters empty affords the reader even more attention to the action and chase of Silas and Denise through a change in settings. Panel layouts are pretty safe for the most part, giving the book something of a buttoned-up feel which fits with the clean-cut lifestyle Silas is trying to pursue.

Father's Day #1 certainly isn't a happy occasion celebrating the fathers of the world. Instead, it's a pretty heady exploration of a father's relationship with his estranged daughter as a result of his choices. Richardson pens a character who was a very bad man, with much of his dangerous decisions a thing of the past he's trying to replace with quiet book readings on the beach. Guzmán illustrations feel kinetic when necessary and Tartaglie does a great job accenting the illustrations with splashes of color where appropriate. Father's Day #1 is an interesting first issue that shows it's got a lot to explore down the road.

Father's Day #1 is available in stores now with interiors below.


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