Review - Slots #1 (@imagecomics)

"Gotta feed the luck meter."

There are some people in the world who can get buy with a smile on their face and sheer luck. Those people typically drift in and out of situations without a worry in the world because they know that everything will work out for them in the end. Stanley Dance is one such character in Slots #1 from Image Comics. The issue is written by Dan Panosian.

You can say this about the life of Stanley Dance: he did it his way. Unfortunately, his way never took getting old into account. Now, the former boxer is on his last legs, looking for redemption…but he’ll settle for going down swinging.

Stanley Dance is a grifter with a propensity for getting into and out of trouble which is what Panosian emphasizes in Slots #1. Panosian has developed an entire universe for Stanley to interact with and that makes for a fascinating tale because it's driven by Stanley's choices--both past and present. As the reader follows along with Stanley's return to Las Vegas, they're drawn into his world as much as he is and really get a sense of what he's up against. The variety of characters throughout allow Panosian the opportunity to ramp up the pacing of the issue into something that really gets more adventurous as it proceeds. And by the end of the issue Panosian has introduced enough of Stanley's universe that the reader is fully engrossed and looking forward to how he can manage any of the myriad of issues he's now forced to contend with.

There's a very sharp, stylized illustrative approach by Panosian that really gives the book even more of a freewheeling voice. Stanley looks grizzled and always sports a smug grin that tells the reader he oozes confidence. Panosian renders the characters with bold angles and thick, black lines throughout that give the characters plenty of weight. The backgrounds are somewhat sparsely populated, but Panosian includes enough detail that the reader can know what's going on as well as getting a good sense of the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas. The colors are harsh, giving the book more of a sense that the walls could close in on Stanley at any moment.

Slots #1 has a lot of hallmarks of a story about a con-man returning to Las Vegas for the proverbial one last score. Stanley is no stranger to being in over his head and even seems keen on poking the sleeping bear. Panosian is crafting a very slick tale that will bring with it plenty of revenge and dangerous situations set against the backdrop of one of the "luckiest" places on Earth. Panosian's approach on artwork is strong and lends depth to the characters. Slots #1 is a great first issue that sets the table extremely well for what looks to be a fast-paced and fun tale.

Slots #1 is in stores now.