All Nighter #1
If there was ever a failed business venture that could be described as well meaning, with unsatisfactory execution, it would have to be the Minx line that DC Comics took a chance on. Put succinctly, the Minx line was DC’s noble attempt to break into the young adult female, which ended up failing mainly due to market not being there to justify its existence fast enough. The biggest tragedy from those events would be the brilliant pieces of work that would languish in obscurity, or never get released at all. Fortunately, some of Minx’s creations have been able to find new homes where they’ll get a second chance to be discovered. One of these titles is the recently finished “All Nighter” story, which finally found a home at Image Comics. Does this title have the potential to recreate the same magic that the “New York ____” Series? The answer is just below you.
Writing and Story
One of the things that impressed me about the “New York ___” Series as a whole is the amazing character work that each of the main characters had received by the time the story came to its end. The amazingly fleshed out, fully 3-dimensional characters were all so compelling that you hung on every scene they starred in, and it looks like “All Nighter” may recreate the same magic that Brian Wood had with Riley and her friends.
All Nighter #1 introduces us to Kit Bradley, a character who you could see wants to be a better person, but is struggling to make the necessary steps to make it happen. Within the 32 Pages of Story, we learn that Kit not only suffers from a guilt complex a mile wide, which stunts her growth as a person due to the fact that she can’t let go of one of the main things that holds her back from doing better, but that her own moral system probably does just as much if not more damage to her. Despite those shortcomings, however, Kit has an aura around her that makes her instantly likable, something that I contribute to the fact that like any 20/30-something, she’s going through the same journey of her own views on life changing, as she begins to have doubts about her own “carefully crafted” belief system. When it all comes together, you get a character that’s extremely interesting, along with a story that while not perfect is definitely worth following.
Where is it not perfect, you might ask? Well, the biggest issue this story has is during the final quarter of the proceedings. While the first 75% works very well, the final 25% (except for the moment with Kit and her best friend Sally-O) feels like it was thrown together to make this story not seem too focused on the central character. What this results in is a scene that feels too out of the blue to be a natural cliffhanger and another scene that features Kit’s future roommate, but seems like it won’t matter in the grand scheme of things, possibly making it a complete waste of space in the long run. Another lesser flaw is some of the dialogue (especially in the narration) feels quite unnatural, which makes the reader take pause about what they’re reading. Despite those two negatives, one of the other good things about the story is how the relationships between the characters are portrayed, giving the book another layer of credibility and adding to the point that the writing is definitely well above average.
Taking nothing away from David Hahn’s writing and story structuring skills, there’s no question that David Hahn’s best trait has to be his art. Taking advantage of not having to color his work, David Hahn uses the labor to give us some of the best scenery and art transitions I’m fortunate to have laid eyes on this year. The amount of care and effort that went into virtually every panel is a sight to behold as the art gives an extra layer of life to the characters and the world around them. Faces emote in such a way that they take the good dialogue sequences to the next level and the backgrounds around them feel like they have stories to tell of their own as well. If there’s anything that can take away from work is that some of the faces may seem a bit off, but that does very little to take away from an art job that’s as nearly as great as I’ve seen in 2011, making it Mr. Hahn an early contender for my artist of the year award.
When you get right down to it, this reviewer can’t say that this work blew him away like The New York Five #1 did, but I can surely say that this work was definitely worth my time. All Nighter #1 was definitely a good enough start to make me want to pull the next issues in hopes of the story meeting the expectations that have been set out for it. If it does, then we’re in for yet another winner from a fallen imprint.
Final Judgment: 8.25