The Outhouse has an advance review of BLUE ESTATE #1, the first issue of an all-new crime series from Image Comics!
Credits & Solicit Info:
32 PAGES, FC, $2.99
A powerhouse team of Hollywood and comic book veterans (along with special guest artists) presents a fast, funny, 100% cool new series for readers of all stripes. On the mean streets of Los Angeles, an alcoholic hit man and a desperate starlet dodge Russian mobsters, Italian gangsters, ninjas, hippies and the L.A.P.D. in a scheme to steal millions from a psychotic action movie hero. Featuring art by VIKTOR KALVACHEV (PHERONE, DMZ, The Incredibles), NATHAN FOX (Invincible Iron Man, Pigeons From Hell), TOBY CYPRESS (Batman/Nightwing), ROBERT VALLEY (Gorillaz, Tron), and written by Emmy Award-winning screenwriter ANDREW OSBORNE.
RETAILER WARNING: MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES
Crime stories, both good and bad, will be full of twists and turns in plot. It's how those twists and turns are managed that's the key. BLUE ESTATE #1, for example, could have fallen apart right in the first issue, but a deft narrative hand elevates the material and makes it truly exciting.
BLUE ESTATE #1 stars (or, in the first issue anyway, is simply narrated by) Roy Devine, Jr., a private eye who happens to be the son of a famous police chief. We see Roy briefly, but this issue is dedicated to its own backstory, which is an odd choice, one which could easily have led to disaster. Instead, there's so much to enjoy that it works. The creators, and there are a lot of them, put together a sprawling crime plot that really unfolds with each page turn, and the story just keeps growing and growing.
Created by a plethora of artists, writers, and designers from the film, comics, and video game industries, BLUE ESTATE #1 is probably the most purely energetic comic since 2009's KILL AUDIO. Not only does the story branch out in all different directions, but the art shifts with each change in time and location, keeping the reader engaged the whole way through. The creators refer to the comic as a "jam session," and it's an apt description. This first issue has that garage band quality that makes it feel like a bunch of creative friends came together and just banged out a super-cool comic on the spot. The best thing is that with all the artists coming together here, there simply aren't any jarring changes in tone. All the art styles complement each other very well. As a whole, the artwork is excellent. It's scratchy and grungy while remaining very ordered and tells the story clearly. It's exaggerated and cartoony while grounding the comic in a very tangible reality.
Meanwhile, the writing gives the reader the story in a very economical fashion. We don't see much of Roy but we learn quite a bit about him. He's a slacker in the shadow of a famous father known for being great at what he does. We don't seen anyone get killed, but we know all the gangsters are appropriately badass from the atmosphere of the book and the way the characters carry themselves.
All in all, BLUE ESTATE #1 delivers the B-12 shot of energy the comic book industry needs every now and again.
Review by: Royal Nonesuch
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About the Author - Royal Nonesuch
As Senior Media Correspondent (which may be a made-up title), Royal Nonesuch tends to spearhead a lot of film and television content on The Outhouse. He's still a very active participant in the comic book section of the site, though. Nonesuch writes reviews of film, television, and comics, and conducts interviews for the site as well. You can reach out to him on Twitter or with Email.
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