There seems to be no rest for Chris Sebela as he gears up to deliver this new title. With art by Robert Wilson IV, this book packs the punch that 2001 movie Bandits wanted to with a better setup and more interesting characters. Callie has had heart problems since she can remember. Failing in every relationship she’s ever been, and she’s also terminally ill and will die without heart transplant surgery, which luckily she gets. The problem now is that this new heart comes with its former owner, a con artist. Now they will embark in love-fueled crime spree.
Heartthrob #1 thoroughly sets up its world, which is equal parts the beginning of Wanted, mixed with the damaged and careless character of Jessica Jones. Callie’s world is shown up until that moment. How she coped with her condition and how sick of the world she is pitying or flat out rejecting her, she wants to do more and she’s on a mission to give herself the extra life to do it. Once she’s able to do it, Mr. Mercer begins to show up and whisper sweet nothings to her. Callie is a deeply flawed character and a strong protagonist. A person who has always aspired for more and the opportunity to do something big presents itself in the least way expected. As far as Mr. Mercer goes, he is presented in a very interesting way; vulnerable. There are glimpses of him as the cool and suave con man he is poised to be, but that persona has been portrayed time and time again, so the choice to have him put himself out there for Callie is a lot more interesting. Hopefully this continues and Mercer will show to be just as flawed as Callie if not more, which will make for a great relationship.
Wilson IV art shows as much character as the writing does. He brings the same amount of intensity he had on Bitch Planet #3. Callie wouldn’t have felt as real or as damaged with another artist, this way we don’t only read that Callie is very ill, but we see it as well. Chris Sebela and Robert Wilson IV compliment each other very well. Nick Filardi’s colors accentuate the book and give the tones necessary when she speaks of her past, even more so when Mercer shows up and before his truth is revealed, we’re aware that this encounter is different and new.
Chris Sebela has proven time and time again that he can write characters with simple goals and complex emotions. Robert Wilson IV can portray that emotion and all the action that’s to come in this new series. Keep a look out for Jamie McElvie’s fantastic variant cover which honors the great Fleetwood Mac album Rumours.
Heartthrob #1 Writer: Christopher Sebela Artist: Robert Wilson IV Colorist Nick Filardi Letterer: CCrank Publisher: Oni Press Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/13/16