Friday, September 11, 2015

Review - Diesel #1 (@boomstudios)

"Let's put some sky behind us!"

Life as the captain of a ship is nothing if not difficult. You have to manage unruly crew members, harrowing situations and family legacies that could directly impact the future success of your journeys. It's the last bit that BOOM! Studios cares about most in Diesel #1. The issue is written and illustrated by Tyson Hesse, color assists by Mariel Cartwright and lettered by Jim Campbell.

Dee Diesel isn’t very good at anything. The daughter of the late Tungston Diesel, she has yet to live up to her father’s great reputation. Her rival has inherited control of her family’s airship and left Dee the only job she’s qualified for: working in a two-bit garage. But all that changes when a mysterious flying engine crashes into Dee’s life and takes her on a journey through the skies.

The look and feel of Diesel #1 is very tongue-in-cheek throughout. Hesse introduces characters in a way that is almost a freeze-frame introduction for them, giving a new character a few lines of dialogue before slapping a descriptive narration box telling the reader that character's name and their role. The dialogue doesn't take itself too seriously either, as all the characters recognize their role contextually with/against other characters. Dee Diesel falls somewhere between best intentions and completely aloof as she's constantly struggling to escape the shadow of her father. Most (if not all) of the issue is spent letting the reader know who the characters are, but the ending offers a pretty drastic shift that will clearly take them out of their comfort zone.

A lot of the appeal in Diesel #1 is Hesse's boisterous illustrations. His style is very relaxed and loose, boasting characters that demonstrate influences from games such as Final Fantasy VII and even some anime. Characters are illustrated in a way that emphasizes their facial expressions above all else, infusing the book with pure emotion. Hesse does go a little overboard in some of the expressions at points, as sometimes it feels as if the characters are always angry and/or surprised at a certain event. Cartwright does a solid job on the colors, giving the book a sunset vibe characterized by reds and purples.

The tone of Diesel #1 works for the type of book that it is--a fun adventure that wears its heart on its sleeve. The ending is pretty dynamic and seems to indicate that Dee might be more than she's letting on (even if she's not fully aware of her hidden talents). Hesse's script is paced somewhat slowly, presenting all the characters to the reader up front and leaving little room for confusion. The artwork is relatively simple yet effective, giving the book a cartoonish appearance. Diesel #1 is a fun first issue that sets its sights on something even more adventurous.

Diesel #1 is in stores now.


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