Monday, November 9, 2015

Review - Mystery Girl #1 (@DarkHorseComics)

"Nope. Nobody gets to keep their secrets around me. But I keep my own. That's the deal."

The issue is written by Paul Tobin, illustrated by Alberto J. Alburquerque, colored by Marissa Louis and lettered by Marshall Dillon.

Trine Hampstead knows everything. Ask her a question like “Where are my keys?” or “Is he cheating on me?” or “How are there perfectly preserved mammoths in recent ice?” and she just knows. She’s the Mystery Girl. The only thing Trine doesn’t know is how she knows—or anything else from the last ten years of her life.

Trine is a very interesting character in that her abilities seem a little supernatural, but she's not necessarily a superhero. Tobin writes her as a character who everyone is familiar with and her talents are well-known, which helps move the script along in a forward direction. That direction is largely mysterious, with a character vaguely introduced as something of a foil to Trine and her capabilities. Tobin spends the majority of the issue giving readers information as to why she's the central character, but there's little hints given about her ability to know all the information. The meat of the issue is characterization, yet it's pretty clear Tobin has a grander idea in mind.

Artistically, Alburquerque's style is cartoonish. Characters sport almost exaggerated body types that are reminiscent of caricatures and Trine's look is funky enough to convince the reader she's capable of knowing things no one else does. The panel layout is pretty standard and there are a few instances where Alburquerque uses that to his advantage to blend together panels. These panels do tend to stand out more against the empty gutters and is a little distracting at times. Louis uses bright, vivid colors throughout that offer a vibrant look at London and its inhabitants.

Mystery Girl #1 is heavy on the mystery and uses it to its advantage for the purpose of propelling the narrative. Trine's abilities make her highly sought after for just about every mystery possible, yet one of the more exciting ones might risk her life. Tobin's script clearly establishes her as a strong lead character the story funneling through her. Alburquerque's illustrations are cartoonish and lend a particular vibe to the work. Mystery Girl #1 is a fascinating first issue based on a premise that feels supernatural, yet the book doesn't get bogged down in a tone similar to that of a capes and tights book.

Mystery Girl #1 is in stores now.


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