Fearless Dawn: Hard Times is a strange issue. It’s different from other Fearless Dawn stories I’ve read and left me wondering where the story and character go from here, if they go anywhere at all. The issue kicks off with Dawn out of costume and driving fast on her motorcycle. Her demeanor is different as she’s coming across ready for war and very serious. We get some backstory on Old Number 7 and he is not in good shape. Back with Dawn she arrives to Old Mill Road where she finds Helga and her goons waiting for her with her dog. Dawn goes in guns blazing and even though she loves her dog she wants to end this war, with this battle. In a way it’s her last emotional straw and Helga breaks it.
It’s a pretty quick story, but I liked it. I like the depth that the character had and I don’t just mean Dawn fretting over her dog. It’s not about the dog and she’s not the only character with a well of emotion to draw from. It’s not your typical comic book and that’s not a bad thing. Steve Mannion tells the story he wants to with the pacing and structure that he wants and it goes against what most people consider the norm. Of course most people only consider superhero comics to be comic books and that’s like saying all movies are dramas and all TV is comedy.
Mannion’s artwork is always impressive. I can never get enough of his illustrations and when he’s serious like he is here, it’s a treat for the reader. He has two styles, one is more cartoonish and the other is serious and detailed. I prefer his detailed, but I enjoy both no matter what. He reminds me of Eric Powell or Eric Powell reminds me of Steve Mannion (whichever you prefer) in that regard.
I hope there are more Fearless Dawn stories. This journey she’s been on seems to have run its course so hopefully there’s something new and exciting for her in the future. Time will tell, but in the meantime check out this one-shot. Even if you’ve never read Fearless Dawn before, it’s still a well put together one-shot.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Steve Mannion Publisher: Asylum Press Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/2/14