Review: Pisces #1

Pisces releases in a few weeks, but you may not have heard of it. In fact I haven’t heard much of it since its announcement which is a real shame because after reading this book… you’re going to want to read it and chances are some of you are going to miss out on it. I mean it’s the writer of Rat Queens (Kurtis J. Wiebe) and the artist from Sheltered (Johnnie Christmas), you’d think that people would be buzzing all over this book. Let’s hope we can change that. I’ll be candid with you… I have no idea what this book is about (and no you shouldn’t read the synopsis it’ll ruin it). I understand what happens, but I don’t know what it’s about. And it’s really good because of that. Because it’s not one of those stories that leaves you feeling so lost that you don’t care to find out more. No this is the perfect kind of lost because I want to know what happens. I want to figure out what’s going on and I think it’s going to be one hell of a ride getting there.

The story opens with a man who looks like he’s been in a fight recently, drinking and driving on his way to the hospital. As he gets closer he slams into the back of an ambulance and lives… because he’s drunk and your body is like rubber. He stumbles into the hospital bleeding and looking wrecked and asks the nurse on duty for help. She gives him the classic nurse line of “describe the nature of your wounds” and hands him a clip board. I know you’re thinking, “he’s bleeding she wouldn’t do that”, but then he asks for someone’s room info. She’s on to this guy the minute he walks in and as he goes to wander the halls someone who knows him stops him. Here we learn that his name is Dillon and this dude that’s stopping him isn’t going to let him get to his wife. It’s a heated conversation to say the least, but as Dillon is punched in the face we’re transported seemingly through time.

Pisces-#1When Dillon wakes up he’s being pulled out of the water by his co-pilot and we learn he’s behind enemy lines… in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Is this a flashback? What exactly is happening to Dillon? You’re going to have to read.

Don’t worry I’ve basically only told you the first six pages which would be in any preview published. What happens next is really fucking good. Like I want to spoil it it’s so good, but that would be shitty so I won’t.

Wiebe’s story has my attention and so does Dillon as a character. He’s our protagonist, but I wouldn’t describe him as a good guy based on the encounters we have with him in this first issue. He is a well-rounded character though and that’s saying something given the situation we’re discovering him in. We’re really only given a few pages at a time to get to know him and while I wouldn’t call him a drinking buddy or something, I have a very solid impression of him already.

Even more so I’m curious about where the story is going and the good thing is that it doesn’t feel like one of those first issues that’s loaded up in a way that anyone will like it only to bring it all down with the second issue. The formula put in place with this issue assures us as the reader that the next issue can live up to the first. That’s a fact that’s becoming increasingly more important with first issues, can the second actually continue at the same level. While I can’t say for certain, I have a pretty good feeling about this series.

I wouldn’t say that Sheltered is a series that I got into, but I always loved the artwork. I really like what Christmas is doing with Pisces and with the variety of settings it’s clear that we’re going to see him flex some artistic muscles in the coming issues. His line work is very impressive giving the issue a realistic look, while also being surreal at the same time. Surreal artwork in comics can go one of two ways with me: it can succeed and add value to the story or it can fail and detract from the story. Pisces #1 succeeds and adds to the story.

Another impressive thing about the artwork is Christmas’ sequential work on the issue. There’s several times in which the art does all of the work and tells us the story and that it does. In fact some of those pages and panels are my favorite from the issue. In particular there’s a scene in which Dillon is staring at an animal and it’s so simple, but very intense.

Image has been cranking out new series, but for every one that gets heavily praised there tends to be more than few missed and that’s a damn shame. Don’t miss Pisces #1. Not because it’s going to be the next big book, though it could very well end up being that, but because it’s just a damn good book. So often we want a title to be the “next big thing” instead of just being good.

I had fun reading Pisces #1 and it excited me. It made me curious and when I got to the end I kept swiping my finger hoping for another page to read. This is an all-star creative team that’s come together to produce and all-star comic so check it out.

Score: 5/5

Pisces #1 Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe Artist: Johnnie Christmas Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 4/29/15 Format: Print/Digital