Review - Scam #1

It's better to die as a conman than live as a mark.

Those are words of wisdom imparted by a man who knows how it goes in Scam #1 from ComixTribe. Whether or not they're really true remains to be seen.

The issue is written and illustrated by Joe Mulvey, with colors by Andrew Crossley, cover colors by Chris Sotomayor, color assists by John Ercek and Juliana Rivera and letters by Deron Bennett.

The life of a conman often appears more elaborate than it actually is, as is the case with Tru. Tru leads a group of con-men (con-people?) who are poised for their biggest score ever. The problem is, there's a fly in the ointment that causes the plan to fail and sends Tru into hiding.

Fast forward two years to the present, where one of the members of the team--Doc the hacker--has found the person they've been looking for in the time since. He's concocted a new plan that requires Tru come out of retirement and reunite the gang. The gang includes Pint as the alcoholic driver, Midas the sniper, Michelle the acrobat and Hack the recon.

Meanwhile, Marcus is fervently watching his back, looking for Tru to resurface. He's hired countless security details in an effort to find him, but they're having trouble doing so. There's another man named Carlyle looking for Tru as well and he's sending his best in Gabrick to find him.

The first book really benefits from Mulvey both writing and illustrating it. Nothing at all against writer/artist teams, but Mulvey clearly had a firm view in his mind of what the world within the pages looked like. Tru is likable enough as the leader and lucky enough to get out of most situations. That's thanks to his cunning, but also thanks to his powers.

Powers? That's the twist in Scam #1. All the grifters have powers. They're not really on full display until the end of the issue and how much of a role they'll play in future issues remains to be seen. It is an interesting spin though on the Ocean's 11 story, giving the grifters various abilities that range from X-Ray vision to "ghosting" objects.

Mulvey's art is just as strong as the writing. He's successfully made this a superhero looking book that's about people first and superheroes second. It's definitely not a capes and tights book, but it's refreshing to see people typically clad in capes and tights with powers illustrated as seemingly ordinary.

Mulvey also provides a wide variety of character looks, not really sticking to one particular body type. Granted, the majority of the characters in the book are men, but at least they're different body types and sizes. The two women in the book are Michelle and an "assistant" to Marcus.

The illustrations are further accented by some superb coloring. There are a wide variety of colors used, effectively setting different times of day and locations. Those locations include Vegas at night, a remote island, a baggage claim terminal and an underground facility, just to name a few. Each environment really pops due to the coloring.

The classic con-men story is on full display in Scam #1 and it's a fun ride through the first issue. Tru is set up to be the savvy leader with an axe to grind against Marcus, while the rest of the team is in it for a big payday. The powers that each member exhibits is an interesting and refreshing take that will likely provide for some truly fascinating storylines to unfold. It's a great start to the story and worth checking out.

Scam #1 is available in stores next week with interiors below.