Monday, June 13, 2016

Review - Bounty #1 (@DarkHorseComics)

"I am very aware that unlocking the full mystery of the Gadflies will take some effort."

Being a bounty hunter has its excitement, but that excitement is amplified if you're a bounty hunter in space. It's not all glitz and glamour though, as there's a grind that has to be endured in order to make a living in space. Bounty #1 from Dark Horse Comics attempts to lighten the load of that grind. The issue is written by Kurtis Wiebe, illustrated by Mindy Lee, colored by Leonardo Olea (backup colors by Andy Cotnam) and lettered by Nate Piekos.

The Gadflies were the most wanted criminals in the galaxy-robbing corporations to redistribute wealth to the destitute. Now, with a bounty to match their reputation, the Gadflies are forced to abandon banditry for a career as bounty hunters...'cause if you can't beat 'em, join 'em-then rob 'em blind!

There's always been a certain romanticism associated with being space outlaws/bounty hunters (think Cowboy Bebop or Firefly) and Wiebe taps into that roguish mentality in Bounty #1. The Gadflies are every bit as cocksure and capable as one would expect from such characters and Wiebe lets their personality dictate the reactions of those around them. Wiebe relies on the first half of the book to essentially introduce the reader to the Gadflies and their reputation before shifting gears and bringing the reader into the book's present. It's a really effective way of setting up the backstory for the characters and their way going forward with Wiebe pacing things beautifully along the way. The dialogue is extremely entertaining throughout and reflects the aforementioned roguish mentality.

Lee's artwork is very crisp and bold. A good portion of the book boasts plenty of action and fighting sequences where Lee illustrates the characters moving around quite fluidly. Each character has a look that feels like a great fit for science-fiction and Lee even throws in a nod to Samus Aran in terms of how she illustrates Nina as a reformed bounty hunter. The artwork in general has a very refined sheen to it that makes it feel extremely slick. Olea's colors further accent that slickness, with a color palette that's bright and vivid, making every page pop.

Bounty #1 is a really solid, fun book. The Gadflies are notorious throughout the galaxy and aren't shy about letting people know that, but their new career direction is a shock to their system in many ways. Wiebe's script is a very loose--yet effective--approach in terms of setting up the universe, refusing to take itself too seriously. Lee's illustrations are very entertaining and infuse the book with a sense of kineticism that's befitting of athletic bounty hunters. Bounty #1 is a top-notch first issue that hits all the right notes while introducing readers to a fun universe.

Bounty #1 is in stores July 6.


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