Review - Bad Luck Chuck #1 (@DarkHorseComics)

"What's a girl to do when she's had bad luck?

Luck is luck. Some people get the good side of it, some people get the bad side of it. In Bad Luck Chuck #1 from Dark Horse Comics, the main character Chuck gets all the bad luck but puts a positive spin on it. The issue is written by Lela Gwynn, illustrated by Matthew Dow Smith, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick and lettered by Frank Cvetkovic.

Cursed at birth, Charlene ''Chuck'' Manchester hires out her own bad luck, providing disaster where someone else can profit. She can get you that insurance payout fortune--for a price. But bad luck doesn't always go as planned, an d when Chuck gets stuck between a dissatisfied crime boss client, a cult leader, and a dogged insurance-fraud investigator, things get...explosive.

Gwynn writes Chuck as sort of a reverse-Domino in that she has an uncanny ability to reap bad luck wherever she goes. It's something she capitalizes on by offering her "services" although one of those offers gets away from her and puts her in the middle of a family dispute. The dialogue is very good at characterizing Chuck as someone who realizes she's unlucky; there's a sort of depressed acknowledgement of what she can do. The thing about the premise though is that it's a little counterintuitive that Chuck monetizes her ability in that Chuck effectively admits she's committing crimes, although there's no way to prove it. Gwynn plays it off very smoothly so that the premise makes sense.

Smith handles the art duties on the book and his style relies on heavy linework that focuses on the characters over anything else. Just about all of the pages offer little in the way of background settings as the main characters are brought to the forefront. The panels are presented very cleanly on every page with Smith relying on very simple overlaid panels in an orderly fashion. There are quite a few framing shots as well that hone in on Chuck's facial expressions throughout the issue, most of which underscore her acceptance of her abilities. Fitzpatrick's colors are very dark throughout the issue and further embellish the mystery around the main character.

Bad Luck Chuck #1 is an interesting premise in that it looks at someone taking advantage of luck taking advantage of them. Chuck has found a way to make the best of a bad situation, although that opportunity comes with an opportunity cost. Gwynn's script is evenly paced and effective at chronicling the fortunate misfortunes of Chuck as she breezes from one disaster to the next. Smith's illustrations are a good fit for the book as they add a certain ambiguity to the proceedings that works out well in the grand scheme of things. Bad Luck Chuck #1 takes an interesting premise and runs with it in an interesting direction.

Bad Luck Chuck #1 is available March 27.