Monday, January 23, 2017

Review - Dollface #1 (@ActionLabDanger)


"That's a good slang word right?"

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Not all of them are "alive" in the true sense of the word, but that doesn't make them any less heroic. Dollface in Dollface #1 from Action Lab Danger Zone is one such hero. The issue is written and illustrated by Dan Mendoza, colored by Mendoza and Valentina Pucci and lettered by Adam Wollet.

In the town of Boston, a witch-hunter lurks among the shadows, but this witch-hunter is like none you've ever seen. She is Lila, a 17th century soul that has been transported into present time and into the body of a life size, ball jointed doll, created by a couple of MIT students trying to use technology and javascript:void(0);a 3D printer to create the perfect women.

Mendoza knows a thing or two about stories focused on no-holds barred female badasses and Dollface is no exception. Where Mendoza oversexualizes things in Zombie Tramp though he dials it back a bit in Dollface, presenting the lead character as a something of an anime Pinnochio. Dollface is coming to grips with reality in many ways and Mendoza uses that as a mechanism for moving the narrative forward. And the language in Dollface #1 isn't as coarse as it is in Zombie Tramp or Vampblade, but it's clear that Mendoza (and Action Lab Danger Zone) like their main characters saucy. The premise behind Dollface #1 is pretty solid as well, giving the reader enough backstory to know what's going on without telling them too much.

Doubling down on the creative process, Mendoza also handles the art duties for the book. There's a manga-like inspiration in his illustrations of Dollface in particular, infusing the book with a clear Sailor Moon vibe. Dollface is illustrated with a rigid contrast to the characters around her--owing to her 3D printed composition. Despite this, she's still illustrated in a way that seems fluid and Mendoza infuses her with an appropriate level of livelihood. The colors throughout the book are largely dark as the issue takes place at mostly at night, but Dollface still pops well with bright pink hair.

Dollface #1 isn't nearly as graphic and gory as Zombie Tramp, but it sports a similar lead. Dollface herself is contemplating her newfound existence and trying to figure out the world along the way. Mendoza's script is straightforward and engaging, breezing through a night in Boston where a marionette of sorts fights to save the world. His artwork is a great complement to the writing, showcasing her talents in terms of being an investigator and in combat. Dollface #1 will appeal to the Zombie Tramp crowd for sure.

Dollface #1 is available now.

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