Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Review - Musketeers #1 (@zenescope)


"The book of fables chose you three, to activate your dormant highborn heritage. The next choice is yours."

The Three Musketeers prided themselves on their teamwork and camaraderie, working flawlessly together to get out tough spots. That relationship is what allowed them to endure and in Musketeers #1 from Zenescope Entertainment that relationship is put through its paces. The issue is written by Terry Kavanagh, illustrated by Daniel Maine, colored by Bryan Valenza and lettered by Taylor Esposito.

A group of super-powered beings calling themselves the Musketeers has emerged in Philadelphia. Using their powers to help those in trouble - as well as giving themselves a lifestyle befitting champions - the line between hero and villain is easily blurred. While the team sees their actions as justified, the city's police force has their own ideas... ones that will see the Musketeers locked away.

Kavanagh is sort of walking a tightrope in the issue as he's introducing a new team while at the same time tying that team into the Zenescope universe at large. In that regard, he acquits himself well, very simply telling the reader who each character is, what their powers are and how they play into the larger story. There are some interpersonal dynamics at play in the issue for sure, but Kavanagh still keeps the pace up throughout. The dialogue is a little cheesy at points, offering pretty simple jokes to carry the humor. The end of the issue has enough of a surprise in it as well that will keep readers coming back for at least the second issue.

The style of art chosen by Maine is pretty straightforward in its approach. The characters are rendered with thin, clean lines that outline the characters without paying too much attention to the facial expressions and details. Maine's work stands out a bit more in his panel arrangement/layouts, in that there's not really a set layout for each of the pages. The variety and arrangement of panels gives the book some breathing room and Maine uses that to his advantage to keep up with the pace of the action. Valenza's colors are skewed towards red and blues in a way that effectively demonstrates the dichotomy between the forces of good and evil at play.

Musketeers #1 is a new entry in the Zenescope universe, even if the players and plot feel familiar. The Musketeers are tasked with both recognizing their newfound powers and learning to use them. Kavanagh's script is a pretty easy read and hits all the expository notes necessary for establishing the series. Maine's illustrations are a good fit for the tone of the book and keep up with the action well. Musketeers #1 is worth reading if you want to get even more Zenescope lore, mashing up two familiar properties into one.

Musketeers #1 is available February 21.

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