Review - The Discipline #1 (@ImageComics)

"Good. Welcome to the discipline."

Art is many things to many people. Different works elicit different results and all of those results are dependent upon the viewer of said art. In The Discipline #1 from Image Comics, one woman's obsession with a certain piece of art could prove more dangerous than she initially thought. The issue is written by Peter Milligan, illustrated by Leandro Fernández, colored by Chris Peter and lettered by Simon Bowland.

Between fighting her sister and hating her husband, Melissa still finds time to fall in lust with a stranger who's an awful lot more than he seems. What appears to be a simple seduction is revealed as something much darker and more dangerous. This controversial and erotically-charged tale of sex, death, and metamorphosis begins with an explosion of carnality and weirdness.

From the start, The Discipline #1 refuses to hide the fact that it's a very creepy book. Milligan sets up a relatively eerie tone by putting Melissa in a constant sense of peril as a result of her curiosity. That curiosity seems exotic at first and Milligan does a great job of slowly revealing the allure to revisiting Melissa's encounter. As the book unfolds though, both the reader and Melissa start to realize that things are much more complex than that and Melissa may be getting in over her head. While Milligan does a great job of presenting Melissa as a solid protagonist, there are broader questions about the world she inhabits that Milligan doesn't really delve into all that much.

There's a very clean artistic approach taken by Fernández for the artwork. His characters are defined by concise lines and a general lack of detail in all aspects of the artwork, allowing the simplistic style to carry the story. And there's definitely a mature aspect to many parts of the artwork that Fernández handles very tastefully and makes it work within the grander narrative of art imitating life. Fernández manages to tap into a certain carnal instinct shared by most of the characters. Peter's colors are somewhat washed out and mimic the finish one would find in a newspaper comic strip.

The Discipline #1 is a very interesting first issue that is content to spend most of its time setting up the players more than the stage. Melissa is thrown into the thick of things faster than she'd like and how she responds will be interesting to read. Most of the issue focuses on Melissa and her reconciliation with the mundane aspects of her life and hopefully Milligan delves more deeply into other aspects of the story in future issues. The concise art style by Fernández gives the book a relatively simple feel that works in contrast to the seemingly growing complexity of the story. The Discipline #1 is a solid first issue that sets the tone immediately as both eerie and atmospheric.

The Discipline #1 is in stores now.