Review: Sombra #1

I don’t know what this comic wants to be. Is it a dark gritty crime book? Is it a horror book? Is it an action movie? DEA Agent Danielle Marlowe is on the hunt for a former DEA Agent who has gone rogue and is now in Mexico trying to “out monster” the Cartel. The kicker is that former agent is also HER FATHER!!! Which I guess should be shocking or something, but made me roll my eyes. Of course she was personally related to the guy, why not? Actually, if you follow through on this plot, we can not only pinpoint what the clichés are, if we can name where they are from, we may even figure out the genre of this comic!

So we get the debriefing between two agents where we find out about the rogue agent and his team (including panels of grotesque horror) where we find out he is related to our protagonist. Which is pretty much thriller/crime genre. The nice, if not sarcastic, federal officer who welcomes our protagonist to Mexico and says it is a wonderful place, right before shit gets real. I guess we are in action movie territory? Maybe still crime.

Sombra_001_C_Spanish_PRESSThe trouble is a child who offers up cryptic messages and then chews off his fingers in a super "kids are terrifying" horror films trope, which I put quite into the horror genre. Then three scenes of chasing leads with lots of needless dialogue of “I want to know this thing but must dance around with this colorful dialogue the writers took time to carefully craft." Which is probably back to crime, but could be the boring parts of an action film, or just one of the filler episodes of Lost. And it all ends with a team of unnamed military or police showing up with guns. Total action!

The issue has no heart. A lot of stuff is happening but there’s no reason to actually care. We know and learn nothing about these characters. Danielle is a DEA Agent, really good at her job, and is the daughter of the rogue agent. This is all I can tell you about her, and her being good at her job is just a piece of exposition told to the reader by another character, not through any actions of the book. Her father is a complete mystery, all we really get is random horrific images of his handy work. Which is why I can argue this is a horror book.

The only real emotion here is randomly in the art. There are panels the characters, especially Danielle, that just come to life. They are just true authentic moments and not a single one is a big moment panel, they are just characters casually sitting around or moving. I guess the scene with the creepy kid is emotive too, but mostly in sheer creepiness.

This book is pretty skippable. Maybe later chapters it will have something to invest in but right now it is just this hallowed out crime book with glimpses of action and horror. I am not anticipating much, though. This is already one fourth of the story and there is not any connection.

[su_box title="Score: 2/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]

Sombra #1
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Raul Trevino
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Price: $3.99
Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital