Monday, November 13, 2017

Review - The Harcourt Legacy #1 (@ActionLab)


"I understand now."

Family inheritance is always a thorny subject. Some relatives feel they get too little, while others feel that a relative got something they should've. Very rarely is magic involved in the inheritance as it is in The Harcourt Legacy #1 from Action Lab Entertainment. The issue is written and lettered by Brendan Cahill, illustrated by Jason Federhenn and colored by Josh Burcham.

Rich occultist Edward Harcourt lies on his deathbed. After a lifetime of searching for true magic, Edward thinks he's found some answers, and he wants to pass them along to his grandniece, a gloomy teenager named Violet. But that may be a problem for Edward's sister Edwina, who has her own plans for his legacy.

The crux of The Harcourt Legacy #1 is family and expectations, both of which Cahill does a solid job of impressing upon the reader. Violet is a typical teenager who'd rather be anywhere else all of the time so Cahill's decision to funnel the narrative through her is interesting. And Cahill prevents the issue from being just another family inheritance saga by infusing it with a slight tinge of magic and the unknown. Granted, Cahill doesn't delve too deeply into the magic portion of it in the first issue; rather, he focuses instead on establishing the players and previewing the stakes. His dialogue achieves this end rather flawlessly, in that each of the characters have distinct personalities that make them more believable to the reader.

Federhenn presents the characters in a very slick and sharp way. There's a very pronounced, sharp approach in how he renders the characters that gives the book a very modern feel that juxtaposes well against the seemingly older sensibilities that the magic component bring. Each panel evokes a sense of meticulousness that shows Federhenn's approach is very methodical and well-executed. There's also a few panels where Federhenn double-illustrates a character in a way that shows a quick motion; it's not the first time it's been done, but Federhenn's take on it is fantastic. Burcham imbues the book with a rich spirit thanks to bold, vivid colors throughout the issue.

At its core, The Harcourt Legacy #1 is about just what the title represents: legacy. Violet is thrust into a role that she neither expected nor fully understands, but that doesn't mean she's not capable of taking on the task. Cahill's script knows where it wants to be at the end of the issue and hits all the right notes for a first issue. Federhenn's illustrations are very clean and demonstrate a strict attention to detail. The Harcourt Legacy #1 is a good first issue that takes the premise of magic and blends it with family dysfunction.

The Harcourt Legacy #1 is available now.

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