Review - The Girl in the Bay #1 (@DarkHorseComics)

"My name is Katherine Angela Satori and this is tale of my death..."

Coming to terms with death is one of the hardest things we have to do. Coming to terms with your own death is even harder, but Kathy Sartori finds another layer of difficulty in it in The Girl in the Bay #1 from Dark Horse Comics. The issue is written by J.M. DeMatteis, illustrated by Corin Howell, colored by James Devlin and lettered Clem Robins.

In 1969, seventeen-year-old Kathy Sartori was brutally attacked, her body hurled into Brooklyn's Sheepshead Bay. Miraculously, she survives and fights her way back to the surface, only to discover that fifty years have passed and an eerie doppelganger has lived out an entire life in her place. Kathy soon confronts not just this strange double, but the madman who ''murdered'' her five decades earlier. Will he, and the dark entity that lives inside him, hold the key to Kathy's missing years? Or will Kathy become a ghost of herself, forced to live out what remains of her life on the edge of the world that she desperately wants to be a part of?

The premise of the book is very entertaining and DeMatteis does his best to ensure the reader knows that there's going to be plenty of twists and turns along the way. Kathy Satori is very much a party girl who thinks she knows everything and it's that mentality that makes her a little hard to root for as the story progresses, but there's a pretty pivotal moment where you instantly feel bad for her. DeMatteis uses that as the catalyst for the entire book, presenting Kathy with a situation that's both terrible and surprising at the same time. From there, DeMatteis does a solid job of explaining to the reader the remainder of the premise behind the series, delving into the concept of reconciling the same individual from different moments in time. It's not entirely clear if DeMatteis is going to emphasize a magic power at work or the like, although there has to be something up his sleeve.

Howell's artwork is very smooth and clean; it's a very simple linework that feels very rich in detail. The setting is the 60s and Howell captures the atmosphere very well, emphasizing the clothing and hairstyles above all else that help ground the story in that specific time. That atmosphere is also represented well in how Howell mixes in a drug trip with what's actually happening to give the reader a sense of the life Katherine leads. This leads to an array of panel layouts, but the most jarring is the one where her life is forever changed as Howell uses successive panels to demonstrate a change in facial expression that fits the mood. Devlin's colors are rich throughout the issue and don't force themselves to be psychedelic for the sake of the setting.

The Girl in the Bay #1 is an interesting concept in that it looks at how one bad decision can have an adverse effect on one's life. Kathy Sartori is struggling to find out what happened on that fateful night and how she's in the current predicament she finds herself in. DeMatteis' script is pretty easy to follow and offers a solid number of twists and turns throughout. Howell's artwork is very well done--clean and concise linework. The Girl in the Bay #1 is definitely worth a read if you're looking for something new and refreshing.

The Girl in the Bay #1 is available February 6.