Review - Chastity Volume 2 #1 (@DynamiteComics)

"Now I am this."

When squaring off against vampires, one must be properly prepared. For some that means having the right equipment, while for others it means leveraging other innate talents. Chastity in Chastity Volume 2 #1 from Dynamite Comics relies on the latter. The issue is written by Leah Williams, illustrated by Daniel Maine, colored by Bryan Valenza and lettered by Carlos M. Mangual.

Chastity Jack has been kidnapped, to the great misfortune of her kidnappers. She, along with a dozen other young women, arrive at an audition for a prestigious New York City burlesque act hoping to land a coveted spot in the popular show. When they wake up in chains on a spooky cruise ship in the middle of nowhere, they're congratulated on joining the cast. Realizing they've been drugged and kidnapped by human traffickers, Chastity Jack declines the offer. Grindhouse-style.

Chastity is a character who may not be very familiar to many readers and Williams treats the first issue of the second volume in such a way. Most of the issue is told as a stream of conscious thought on behalf of Chastity where Williams introduces the character to the reader in a way that detaches the reader somewhat from the action. And because of the way Williams has penned the script, there's a hurried sense throughout that keeps things moving very quickly, leaving very little time for Chastity (or the reader) to catch their breath. Character development aside, Williams has crafted a plot that seems like it will challenge Chastity somewhat and take her out of her comfort zone of fighting vampires just to freshen things up a bit. The future of the series is crammed into the final few pages that also move very quickly, but it's obvious that Williams has a direction she wants to take the series in.

Maine's illustrations are somewhat simple, yet effective in presenting a complete picture for the reader to understand what's going on in Chastity's world. Considering it's a book about vampires the art could easily have ventured into graphic territory, but Maine keeps the gore to a minimum, save for a few panels of minimal blood spray. New York City is rendered somewhat as a character as Maine works in familiar settings as a means of grounding the character more in the real world. The panels all sport thick, black outlines that separate them from one another and provides a staccato mentality that helps to slow down the pace of the script somewhat. Valenza's colors are very vivid yet dark, providing a modern look at Chastity and her environs.

Chastity #1 does a good job of introducing the character, but it feels as if the story may have been better served as a #0 issue. Chastity has moved through life in a fairly invincible fashion thanks to what she is, but the end of the issue pits her against something new. Williams' script is concise and blunt, leaving little for the reader to discern as they follow along with Chastity's daily routine. Maine's illustrations accompany the story well in its depiction of vampires living in New York City. Chastity Volume 2 #1 has a lot of appeal for fans of the character.

Chastity #1 is available now.