By Dustin Cabeal
A few years ago this title would have been right at home at a different publisher. Slap some sexy variants on it and bang; you have a cover book with little to no substance inside. The crazy thing is, they don’t even publish books like this anymore.
The first thing to note is that they’re sisters like a sisterhood, not nuns… which makes that fucking cover even more confusing and distracting. I don’t even know if I read what this series was about beforehand because I saw the “Nuns with Guns” cover and said, well that’s stupid and must be all there is to the story.
There’s more to the story folks, but it’s choppy and slammed together in a mess of dialogue that has no natural flow. There’s also some strangely important details that are left for later issues to bring up but could have easily been mentioned in this issue… would have made a lot more sense too.
The story is that a soon to be ex-husband finds the battered women’s shelter his wife is at, breaks in, kills a guard and is looking to either take her home or kill her. Shit happens and several bodies later the remaining women have to figure out what to do with the mess of dead white people. Since the most outspoken of the group is there because of her cop husband, they decide to cover up the incident and paint a different picture.
Enter major detail one that’s glossed over. One of the women calls her brother who’s good at covering up stuff like this… no one questions this or asks what her brother does for a living. Then the women take self-defense classes from the brother; this is after lying to the cops that don’t buy their story. This time they barely question the brother’s mega complex/training ground. The next step is prepping a murder of another husband.
Here’s the really unfortunate thing about this story and issue. The women should be easy to root for since they all have terrible pasts haunting them and are trying to lift themselves up from that when the first homicides happen. Instead, there’s no character development for any of them. No insight into what makes them the person they are. One of them is angry, one of them seems goofy, another is too serious, and the last one doesn’t think they have to murder anyone. That’s all I know about these characters outside of where they all met and what they have in common. Three things. It’s not that I’m rooting against them, but I’m not invested in their journey.
It doesn’t help that Kurt Sutter and Courtney Alameda have written a story, but not a comic book. The writing does not play to the strengths of the format, and it’s painfully obvious in the abundance of redundant dialogue and breakneck pace. There’s no reason they should have completed their first “mission” in the first issue. None. Other than BOOM! not trusting this to be successful past four issues and I can’t blame them for that. There’s so much being crammed into a twenty-two-page story that it’s enough to fill, oh say, forty-five minutes of television.
I want to say something nice about the art, but all the faces are creepy. Mostly because of the unrealistic shadowing and strange angles. The backgrounds are either ruler friendly or non-existent. There is one horrific scene that I liked, but even then the faces are weirdly shaped to me and not enjoyable. The art isn’t my cup of tea, but it’s still better than the writing and held back by the choppy story that was likely written for TV.
There is a slim chance that I will read the next issue. It’s very slim though. Having read Sutter’s other BOOM! title and absolutely hating it, I don’t have any hope for this getting better. The character’s aren’t following any logic, but mostly because none has been introduced to them. It was a painful reading experience because it was the most forced comic book I’ve ever read. I’m sure some will enjoy this issue and comic, but I’ll be hard pressed to believe them. Hell, I hope it’s only four issues, but I really don’t know.
Sisters of Sorrow #1