Review - The Answer #1

Librarians come with all sorts tropes attached to them. Sexy, smart, shushing. Depending on the person, what kind of person that librarian is goes a long way in determining their ability to cope with intense situations. And The Answer #1 from Dark Horse puts librarians in death-defying situations.

The issue is written by Dennis Hopeless, with art by Mike Norton, colors by Mark Englert and letters by Crank!.

Devin is smart. Really smart. She's so smart that, in fact, she's a little on the anti-social side of things, finding trouble meeting anyone or even getting along with her mom. Her intelligence has sort of alienated her from others in life, but that won't stop her from gallivanting with The Answer.

The Answer is a hero of sorts whose costume boasts a bold exclamation point on his face. He's a crime-fighter with a unique ability to make bad guys regret their decisions to rob gas stations and have gasoline fights. He also knows the real deal behind Apeiron, a self-help movement fond of tear gas and assault teams.

Devin is presented as someone who knows the answer to every Jeopardy! question, as well as someone who's fond of puzzles. That makes her interaction with The Answer seem even more organic. Hopeless brings the two characters together effortlessly, with their contrasting personality types generating an odd couple scenario. Devin boasts plenty of self-deprecation, which helps the issue fly along.

Apeiron is billed as the big villain of the series, but so far the reader isn't really told much about them. There's a self-help guru seemingly at the center of the organization who holds a persuasive sway over his followers. The Answer knows a lot more than he's letting on. Naming him The Answer and using him as a conduit for answering the reader's questions is clever and will make for a fun read.

There's a pronounced superhero feel to the book, with Norton illustrating The Answer as very defined and strong. Watching Devin solve puzzles is satisfying, as it allows you to almost feel her emotion and satisfaction in solving the tough puzzles. Norton handles the art well overall; especially considering half the issue takes place in a library, while the other half follows The Answer as he fights bad guys.

Devin is in over her head and the reveal at the end of The Answer #1 shows she may be even more so than she thinks. Apeiron seems to hold immeasurable sway and The Answer seems sufficiently worried about them. Future issues will likely explore his past with them, as well as their future with Devin.

The Answer #1 is available January 23 with interiors below.