[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Mack
For Brian Michael Bendis’ next Jinxworld book, he reunites with long time collaborator David Mack. The pair had previously worked on Daredevil more than a decade ago and since then Mack has lent his spectacular artwork to the covers of numerous Bendis books. Cover sees a comic book artist bumping into the same strange woman over and over again, before things take a quick and unexpected turn.
David Mack’s artwork is a thing of beauty. Each page could be its own framed painting. Bendis isn’t dumb, he knows who he’s working with for each Jinxworld series and it feels like each book was specifically made for their artist. There are pages in this issue that feature the main character talking about the difference between a print and an original and it feels like a conversation David Mack has almost certainly had. Things get a bit meta when the reader notices that writing collaborator of the main character is a bald man who is said to be writing the next big summer comic event.
The way in which the panels are depicted varies throughout the book and makes it feel a lot more prestige than a regular comic. Mack is really getting to play with this series, it feels like Bendis’ script might be a brief suggestion. On some pages there are just block colours, mainly sticking to one tone. Whereas other pages are fully watercolored.
The dialogue is sparse here and allows for the series to highlight the artwork as it kicks off. This works with a creative time like this one. Some pages experiment with the art style so much that to even include dialogue would simply detract from the reader’s ability to take it in.
As it might be expected, with artwork so good, the only negatives with this issue are associated with the writing. Firstly, the issue begins with a comic con scene that emphasizes the hustle and bustle of a busy convention. While no character is singled out speech bubbles at to the claustrophobia, showing how loud it is. However these speech bubbles seem to mock the very people that attend conventions. Considering how long Bendis has worked in this industry, and to imagine the number of conventions he’s attended, it’s easy to see how he could be irritated by characters such as the ones depicted in this scene. But at the same time Cover isn’t at the ‘cool hipster’ level yet that justifies mocking its readers. Some might be upset, and with this being the opening page, it appears Bendis had something to say.
Beyond this there are a couple lines of dialogue that are a bit ‘Bendis-esque.’ Long time readers of his work will likely know what this means but lines like “sweetie I’m an American spy” and “what do you do as the thing you said you are” just don’t work well in this format.
By the end readers will be hooked. The story has a decent premise although the art carries it a little. It’ll be exciting to see if the writing will keep up but with a creative team such as this, it’s more than likely it will.