Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Review - Athena Voltaire and the Volcano Goddess #1 (@ActionLab)


"I always have a thing or two up my sleeve."

Athena Voltaire is something of a world-renowned traveler with a penchant for treasure hunts. Danger doesn't slow her down and she's always one for a new adventure. She's getting a little bit of both in Athena Voltaire and the Volcano Goddess #1 from Action Lab Entertainment. The issue is written, illustrated and lettered by Steve Bryant and colored by Jim Nelson (color assists by Drew Browne).

When her father gains possession of a legendary necklace, Athena Voltaire must save him from both strange assassins and the Nazis, who want the power the artifact could unlock!

Athena Voltaire is a different kind of hero and Bryant knows that. To that end, he's given her plenty of dashing ability and unique know-how to traverse the globe in a search for treasure and peril. Bryant's script is a great introduction to the character, presenting her in a way that's not completely hand-holding for those already familiar with her. The premise of the first issue (and the series) is also pretty straightforward, but Bryant builds up to the overarching plot pretty steadily, not forcing things at all. The dialogue is appropriate for the era Bryant is evoking, as he infuses the characters with the right amount of charm and sentiment.

Bryant's artwork in Athena Voltaire and the Volcano Goddess #1 is an homage to the pulpy throwbacks of the character and others like her. Bryant emphasizes subtle detail in the characters, relying on concise linework to illustrate the different era that Bryant is hearkening back to. The approach is predominantly successful, although there are some moments when the characters seem a little more rigid than Bryant probably intended. Bryant still has a very firm grasp on how to illustrate characters believably and he doesn't exaggerate the physiques in a way that's distracting to reader. Nelson's colors are predominantly muted and there's a general gloom that pervades the action and matches the tone of the narrative.

Athena Voltaire and the Volcano Goddess #1 is a pretty low-key start to the series. Athena is off on another quest that will test her mettle and abilities, but she seems to be up to the challenge. Bryant's script is straightforward and easy to follow, paced in a way that the reader progresses patiently through the tale. Bryant's illustrations are a great nod to the tone is narrative is setting, relying on sharp lines to emphasize the characters and their interactions. Athena Voltaire and the Volcano Goddess #1 is a great jaunt through globetrotting adventure that's a nod to a different era of storytelling.

Athena Voltaire and the Volcano Goddess #1 is available now.


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