Welcome to another Comic Bastards dual review! In a dual review two writers, in this case Daniel and Dustin, will take a crack at the same issue. They’ll give their thoughts and a score on the issue which this time is Scarlett Couture #1 from writer/artist Des Taylor out this week from Titan Comics.
Using her cover as Head of Security for her mother’s internationally renowned fashion house, she gathers intelligence for the CIA. In this explosive first issue, Scarlett follows her instincts right into the middle of the action and finds she needs to use all her wits to get herself out of hot water!
Scarlett Couture is probably going to be likened to a cross between Zoolander (the idea of a model becoming a spy) and Alias (strong female lead). I like the idea of mashing those too things together. Zoolander could only have of been a comedy with its male lead, but if you switched it to a female lead you can entertain a more serious plot. This comic shows us that is true.
I found the first issue an easy read that quickly introduces you to the characters and their situations. The book is a page-turner that keeps a solid flow of storytelling. It ends on a nice note that leaves you wondering what will happen next and make you want get the next issue to find out. I liked the clean artwork and character design, every character feels realized (even the bad guys that are only in a couple of panels. The backgrounds have a photographic look to them.
I really enjoyed this first issue, however there were a couple of things that weren't great. The first is the sound effects, I felt that they look like old batman sound effects 'zap' 'pow', the way they are drawn in really bold colors in a cartoony font detaches from the seriousness of the situation. The second was the ending, we don't know the characters well enough for the reveal at the end to be an 'oh my god' kind of thing, instead it was more an “oh okay, I see.”
Scarlett Couture is about what I expected. It’s an entertaining story, but at its core it’s a secret agent/spy story. It doesn’t break the mold and in fact stays relatively safe by following the formula most commonly used for the genre.
Where the story excels is the art work for Des Taylor. His style and coloring is just wonderful to look at and hell a couple of times that’s all I looked at. The action is a little stiff, but it contributes to the story in positive way the rest of the time.
The story itself is pretty generic. I hate to be that blunt, but it is. It’s a secret organization trying to take over or destroy the planet. The last third of the comic is spent on exposition from the bad guys as they basically explain to one another their plans that they should already know since it’s their plans and all. It’s all for our benefit and frankly it works alright.
If you like the art on the cover you’ll love the art on the inside, but don’t expect a deep reimagining of the spy genre.