Review - Wicked Things #1 (@boomstudios)

"Well, it says here you're nominated."

Being a teenage detective brings with it quite a bit of responsibility. Part of that responsibility sometimes involves proving your own innocence as in Wicked Things #1 from BOOM! Studios. The issue is written by John Allison, illustrated by Max Spain, colored by Whitney Cogar and lettered by Jim Campbell.

Nineteen year old Charlotte Grote has her whole life ahead of her; headed straight to Oxford and a future as a real detective-until she's framed for murder! Given the choice between going to jail basically forever or joining the police, Lottie decides to hit the beat, all while trying to find the real murderer. Lottie may have been running rings about the police since her 9th birthday, but she's never been on this side of the security tape. Could the future of law enforcement be 5'2' with an extremely strong bangs game? Yes. Very yes.

From the jump, Allison portrays Charlotte as a very talented detective whose word choice has a way of getting her in trouble. To that effect, the dialogue by Allison is very snappy and fast-talking, offering characters who are very well-defined by what they say (or don't say). Much of the first issue is spent establishing Charlotte's character as savvy and sharp, providing a great character for channeling the narrative through. The issue ends in a way that's somewhat unpredictable, although Allison uses is to his advantage to further the plot and Charlotte's character. The plot also does a great job of embracing the teen detective genre while also poking fun at it, giving the reader a story that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Spain's artistic approach is perfect for establishing the book's mood and atmosphere. The book has a Saturday morning cartoon feel to it that embellishes the character designs with an airy sensibility, affording Spain the opportunity to present the art in a kid-friendly way. Spain does an excellent job of making the characters feel dynamic and purposefully exaggerated in a way that gives the book even more of a comic sensibility. The clean panel layout makes reading it a breeze and Spain's character designs are purposeful caricatures of stereotypical teen detectives. Cogar's colors are bright and cheery, buoying the otherwise more dramatic events with a sense of bombast.

Wicked Things #1 is a very strong first issue that's made so by the strength of its main character. Charlotte has always fancied herself a more than capable teenage detective and when she finally receives praise for just the thing, she's forced to prove it as well. Allison's script raises the stakes personally for Charlotte and provides a very entertaining read. Spain's illustrations are very clean with expressive characters purposefully over the top for good measure. Wicked Things #1 brings with it plenty of enjoyment amidst the sassy teenage detectives its following.

Wicked Things #1 is available now.