‘TKO Shorts: Dame from the Dark’ - Comic Book Review

The world-famous Magic Manor is filled with glitz, glam, magic, and mayhem – and this one-shot comic brings it all together against the backdrop of Los Angeles with a unique flair of the 1930s.

Private investigator Tommy is hired to find Nico, assistant to illusionist Le Samson Fantastique, and finds himself in Magic Manor. Tommy’s own assistant is the beautiful (and dead) Eva, a starlet murdered in the 1930s. She exists in black and white in the color-filled present, and the duo provides plenty of entertainment as they work to rescue Nico from the evil illusionist.

The banter between Tommy and Eva is fantastically captured by writer Rob Pilkington who easily shifts between eras to create realistic dialogue for both characters. Tommy’s general grumpy nature is offset by Eva’s spunk, and from their natural-sounding conversations and sarcastic comments, it’s easy to see they’ve been together for a long time. Samson makes for an over-the-top villain with an abusive nature that is all-too familiar in today’s world. The lightheartedness does help to ease the seriousness, lest the story become too dark.

Kit Mills’ art blends together past and present as if they are the same. The seamless transitions between Eva’s black and white and today’s colorful world works beautifully to provide the reader with a sense of both times existing together in a rational way that readers won’t question. There are hints of Eva’s past and her temper which are seemingly drawn with the intention of shocking the reader out of the comedy of the tale and reminding us of the gravity of the stakes.

Since this is a one-shot and not a series, there are a couple loose ends dangling and a backstory that needs telling. There’s a lot more to the story than we’re allowed to know in this short span; however, this is also indicative of the need for more from these two characters. It doesn’t feel like a one-time pairing, and, hopefully, Pilkington and Mills, et. al. plan on giving us the rest of their story, both past and present.

An overall exceptional comic, TKO Studios is running with a brilliant plan for their shorts. While this is number four of six comics in this line that have been released, each with different creative teams at the helm, it demonstrates how much fun a short comic read can be.  


Creative Team: Rob Pilkington (Writer), Kit Mills (Art & Cover Art), Ariana Maher (Letterer), Sebastian Girner (Editor), Mariam Fayex (Editorial Assistant), Jared K Fletcher (Title & Cover Design), Jeff Powell (Book Design)
Publisher: TKO Studios
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