REVIEW: Unleash #1

This is my first review from the publisher Amigo Comics, and I have to say that I am fairly impressed. Unleashed is a brutally twisted revenge story; a kind of which that is growing more popular with today’s expanding comic book audience. Both of the writers, Jennifer Van Gessel and El Torres, display their strong grasp on the purpose of dialogue, and pacing of exposition. Then the two artists, Nacho Tenorio and Sergio Mora, take these skills and weave them into a gorgeous tapestry.

Jennifer and El start off with a nice hook of two friends arguing about the ethics of dying. This is always a smart introduction to go with, since everyone has that one friend that likes to wax philosophical. It is from here, too, that we get a since of the world at hand. One that is dark, brooding, and unforgiving. This is the kind of introductory page that outlines the talent for the series. The dialogue was explanatory without having to be overly narrative. Information throughout the book was given on a need to know basis, which unburdens the reader from feeling lost. And they cultivate an urgent sense of mystery, as they slowly peel this story apart.

However, there were a few things that really irritated me about the writing. Without getting too preachy, I hate the stereotypical black voice that writers constantly give their minority cast. The worst part in this book was the fact that these obviously educated black characters would have these thought-provoking metaphysical debates in ebonics. Far be it from me, a white male, to cast any stone, but not all black people say “you’s”. Putting that aside, I also felt that the plot was too derivative of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (the book series, not the movies). I understand that there is no such thing as true originality, but with a story as iconic as that you really have to make some more vivid differences.

As for the art side of things, I have not a single complaint. Nacho and Sergio filled every panel to the brim, filling them with raw emotion. Each character felt unique, alive, and they flowed graciously from panel to panel. I also enjoyed the two-tone color rendering, capitalizing on the independent feel of the story.

All together, I would say that Unleash #1 is off to a decent start. Like I said before, the plot is to similair to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but that does not take away from the clear talent from both Jennifer and El. They really did do a great job with the script. And so did the artists. If you have the cash to spare, check this one out, otherwise I would wait for the trade to see how it pans out. I give it 3 out of 5.

STORY BY Jennifer Van Gessel, El Torres
ART BY Nacho Tenorio, Sergio Mora, Veronica R. Lopez
COVER BY Gabriel Hernandez Walta
PUBLISHER Amigo Comics

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