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‘Spy Island #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

I was not expecting that. I started reading this first issue of Spy Island really having no idea what to expect, but I was not expecting that. And that, folks, that was amazing. The synopsis is in the title. We’re on an island in the Bermuda Triangle, and there are spies, but also – and hold onto your hats – because I’m not going to give away what else is on this island. Why would I ruin that?

What I will do is tell you about Nora, the spy at the center of our story. If there was ever a female version of Dean Martin, this is it. She’s amazing. She’s saucy, sexy, and seriously outwits everyone in conversation. In fact, this world – the voice of the dialogue, the cadence of the scene work, the styles, the colors, the fantastical elements – could have been lifted out of a late-’60s, swinging Dean Martin movie.

While there are some elements to the story introduced, this is all about Nora and the stylish and fantastical (and sometimes boring) spy world she inhabits. In fact, most of the issue is a slow build up to an amazing punchline that made laugh out loud. It was the best use of the figurative act of foreplay within a story I’ve witnessed recently. It’s not just about having a fun idea, it’s about how you lay it out, and Chelsea Cain and Lia Miternique have masterfully told their story with artist Elise McCall, leaving me engrossed and ready for a second issue.

Visually, Miternique and McCall, along with Stella Greenvoss, mix in digital elements and photo-realistic elements, with amazing color from Rachelle Rosenberg and lettering from Joe Caramagana, that, at times, resembles white-on-black typewriter labels, all combining to create an incredibly groovy and psychedelic experience. The fact that co-creator Lia Miternique was the designer on the book shows you just how important that element is in capturing the story and the world. It’s just amazing work.

Seriously, I don’t know how you’re not going to enjoy this first issue.

Creative Team:  Chelsea Cain and Lia Miternique (creators), Chelsea Cain (writer), Lia Mitirnique (cover, designer, supplemental art), Elise McCall (artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (colorist), Joe Caramagna (letterer) Stella Greenvoss (supplemental art)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Click here to purchase.

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor



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