Review - No World #1 (@AspenComics)

"The entire incident lasted exactly sixty seconds."

What do you get when you cross a hitwoman, a fairy and a mercenary? Certainly not a fun buddy comedy. Aspen Comics has something different in mind for No World #1. The issue is written by Scott Lobdell, penciled by Jordan Gunderson, inked by Mark Roslan and Charlie Mok, colored by JUANCHOo and lettered by Zen.

A mysterious conglomerate has emerged on the scene with a sinister purpose—the incorporation of pure evil on a scale never seen before! But, will this collection of unstable personalities come together as friends to defeat this new adversary—or will they instead battle as foes?!

Lobdell takes a very slow and methodical approach in No World #1. Iris, Miya and Dellec are brought together under less than ideal circumstances and Lobdell essentially throws the reader into the mix with them. There's a lot of backstory for all the characters involved and it's apparent Lobdell prefers to hit the ground running here as opposed to holding the reader's hand. It's an interesting approach considering how steeped in mythos the Aspen Universe is, but Lobdell handles it very well. There's a minimal amount of dialogue throughout the issue and it doesn't get bogged down by expository with Lobdell leaning more on the action to tell the story.

The artwork by Gunderson fits the narrative quite perfectly. His lines are extremely clean and sharp throughout, infusing the characters with physical heft as they share panels with one another. The panels are staggered in a way that lends to the frenetic energy of the issue as a whole and--despite the book largely taking place at a diner in the middle of nowhere--there's plenty of action as the issue picks up. Gunderson's style is very much a superhero one in that the characters all sport moves and looks that feel heroic, but it works for the issue. The inks by Roslan/Mok and colors by JUANCHOo help give the book a superhero sheen as well, blending together colors in a way that gives the art a sense of realism.

No World #1 is light on detail, but heavy on action. Iris is pulling together what appears to be a team to fight a nameless baddie at this point, but it's likely those details will get fleshed out as the series progresses. Lobdell's script is sound and fast-paced serving as an excellent example of showing not telling. Gunderson's illustrations are very refined and great at conveying a sense of chaos for the main characters involved. No World #1 is a lot of fun and very much an introduction issue, but the payoff looks like it could be worth it.

No World #1 is available now.