Jeff Haas reviews the first issue of Redorick from Crystal Fractal Comics!
Credits & Solicit Info:
High school student, Justin Henderson, discovers his friend is running packages for the local mob boss. Dealing with his new found abilities that he believes are "super powers", Justin also worries about grades, how to get the girl, and wonders if all the thoughts in his head are really his own.
Written by Howard Wong
Art by Pedro Maia
Based on the story concept by Derrek Lennox
Written by: Howard Wong
Art by: Pedro Maia
Published by: Crystal Fractal Comics
Rating 5 out of 5
Redorick is the latest release from upcoming Canadian publisher Crystal Fractal Comics. It tells the story of a boy named Justin Henderson, who seems perfectly normal, albeit a bullied outsider, until he starts experiencing strangely vivid nightmares. In these nightmares he hears an ominous voice chanting his name. The black letter boxes and white type instill this voice with a sense of danger, as does the slightly psychedelic quality of the artwork. Later, the strangeness becomes even more pronounced when Justin's arm enters some kind of void in school locker. This issue does not spend a lot of time explaining these bizarre occurrences; instead, Mr. Wong decides to focus on Justin's character and painting the world around him. Even the introduction to the issue seems somewhat out of place; however, what the introduction does do is give readers of CFC's other titles clues that there is a link between them all, without confusing or overwhelming any readers who simply wish to read this title without distractions. I cannot help but think that in reading the introduction, you won't be tempted to check out the other series. But back to the story itself...
The world of Justin Henderson is a rough one, easily recognizable as an urban neighborhood. There are gangs and drug pushers. In fact, the middle third of the story has Justin and his friend conned into becoming drug mules. Fans will appreciate Justin's underdog quality. Within one issue he is duped and bullied, and then there are those nightmares.
The realism of the story is reminiscent of Mr. Wong's other series from Image, After the Cape. This is clearly a story that exists within the grey areas of the world. But Justin is not the only thread in this story. There is also a priest who doubts his faith, which leads to very exciting scenes on pages 13 and 14. You'll know which ones I mean when you read them. It's both jaw-dropping and comment-worthy. After page 21, things really get moving when the psychotic character of Carnivale is introduced. This introduction is action-packed and bloody! The last page will certainly have you anticipating the next issue.
Also of note is the art, which perfectly matches the realistic quality of the comic. Mr. Maia does a wonderful job of creating each character. You can tell a lot about what is occurring in a character's mind, by the detailed expression on their face. And again there is that page fourteen. Awesome! Let's not forget the final splash page either. The grittiness of the artwork fits the final third of the comic best. The gangster looks genuine. They look mean and like people you do not wish to ever meet.
All in all great job by all, and great issue.
Review by: BlueStreak