Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Review - Grand Passion #1 (@DynamiteComics)


"No pattern, that was the key."

Bonnie and Clyde were probably the most famous of all the relationship criminals in history. The duo tore across the country, scoring big and trusting their life with the other. If Bonnie fell in love with a cop though the story could've turned out a lot differently and Dynamite Comics has some notion of that difference in Grand Passion #1. The issue is written by James Robinson, illustrated by Tom Feister, colored by David Curiel and lettered by Simon Bowland.

Doc's a cop. Mabel's a crook. They're two wayward souls, fated to fall in love at first sight...even as Mabel swears to kill Doc if it's the last thing she does. It's Harlequin Romance meets Hard-Boiled Crime.

Robinson knows that the notion of a duo of criminals with a romantic relationship certainly isn't anything new which is why his twist on it in Grand Passion #1 is pretty fun. Mabel is written as a character who's seemingly been bored with her relationship and life for a while now. Meanwhile, Robinson offers up Doc as a foil who's still learning the ins and outs of the locality he's been assigned to. Their essentially on different paths in life, but Robinson doesn't let that stop them from crossing and setting off potential fireworks down the line. And much of the issue is a slow and steady build-up to their first encounter as Robinson stresses how different they are before bringing them together via love at first sight.

Feister's artwork is pretty meticulous. Each character is illustrated with very clean and concise lines that effectively showcase their personalities and actions. Where Feister gets really creative is with many of the page layouts, relying on multiple, stacked panels that chronicle the passage of time down to the second. There's another series of panels where Feister depicts the deployment of tear gas quite effectively by gradually increasing visibility through successive panels for the characters as the gas clears. Curiel's colors are somewhat bright and capture the season in the town where the first issue takes place well.

Grand Passion #1 is exactly what its name implies. Doc and Mabel are on opposite sides of the law, but there's a lot between them--namely fate--that will seek to bridge that divide. Robinson pens a pretty interesting first issue that does a great job of introducing the reader to each of the main characters. Feister's artwork is clean and to the point, offering up some very entertaining page layouts that keep the action moving. Grand Passion #1 is definitely worth checking out as it bucks the traditional crime mixed with true love approach for something a little different.

Grand Passion #1 is in stores now.

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