Friday, July 21, 2017

Review - Sisters of Sorrow #1 (@boomstudios)


"I know someone who can help us hide this mess."

People turn to religion for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they need help with something, other times they just want to believe they're part of something bigger. It's not often though that people turn to faith for a violent path toward vengeance, but that doesn't stop the women in Sisters of Sorrow #1 from BOOM! Studios. The issue is written by Kurt Sutter and Courtney Alameda, illustrated by Hyeonjin Kim, colored by Jean-Paul Csuka and lettered by Jim Campbell.

By day, Dominique, Greta, Misha and Sarah run a nonprofit women's shelter. At night, they each don a nun's habit and move through Los Angeles hunting down violent abusers who have escaped justice. Their increasingly public vigilantism has earned them the nickname Sisters of Sorrow, and has drawn the ire of L.A.'s notorious anti-crime task force.

Sutter and Alameda open Sisters of Sorrow #1 that's equal parts tragic and empowering. Dominique, Greta, Misha and Sarah are given something of an origin story of sorts in that they're tired of being bullied by men and are fighting back with equal levels of violence. Sutter and Alameda don't shy away from said violence in Sisters of Sorrow #1, but the characters are written in a way that their take on violence is bolstered by vengeance and justice. That's not to say that Sutter and Alameda necessarily condone any of the violence, but the message is clear that women shouldn't be taken for granted or treated differently because they're perceived as weaker. The issue is also somewhat self-contained in that it starts and finishes an arc; that arc just so happens to serve as a microcosm of the series as a whole.

Kim's artwork in Sisters of Sorrow #1 is accented by very sharp, angular linework that affords the characters weight. The style also brings with it an abundance of kinetic sense about it, in that Kim infuses the characters with physical heft. The panel layout plays it slightly safe for the most part, relying on pretty straightforward grids that Kim still manages to fill in a way that makes the pages feel full. Kim does a marvelous job of filling the characters with emotion with rage being the most prevalent throughout much of the issue. Csuka's colors are pretty bold and pop in a way that supports the notion of angered women donning habits and arming themselves.

Sisters of Sorrow #1 could easily be a one-shot, but fortunately it serves as the starting point for something more. Dominique, Greta, Misha and Sarah are on a mission to right wrongs by any means necessary and they'll stop at nothing to ensure that things are balanced in their eyes. The script by Sutter and Alameda is fast and robust, moving quickly through the events to get to the crux of the series. Kim's artwork is a great match for the story as it reinforces the raw emotion found in the dialogue. Sisters of Sorrow #1 is a great read as far as first issues go.

Sisters of Sorrow #1 is available now.

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