Being a big Ryan K. Lindsay fan, (I have two signed comics to prove it thanks to the Dodgy Crusader), I have it on good authority, that Mr. Lindsay owes me a happy ending. Reading this first issue of his new series from Black Mask, with Chum collaborator Sami Kivela also along for the ride, I am pretty sure that I will be left waiting.
Lon Eisley, no relation to Mos, contains and practices her own version of scum and villainy in her daytime job as a hit-woman. It seems a simple type of life; turn up, shoot and leave. Yet Lon is going through a bit of an internal battle. It seems that whilst her inner drive to change is in full force, there is a part of her that just wants to accept herself, discovering her true identity in relation in her own little corner of the external world. The pressure of the latter is played out through her pregnant girlfriend. Of course, the two worlds are going to intersect as during her latest job, Lon takes it upon herself to save a child, which as you can imagine causes a number of problems, the biggest of which isn’t the circus freak team of assassins that are on our (anti?) heroines tail.
Ambiguity is style of character that Ryan K. Lindsay excels at. In the past, especially with Chum, the various archetypes played themselves out in a cast of characters. Here, Lon is herself a mix of creator/destroyer, which is as pretty much as opposite as you can get. Alex, the child Lon saves, acts a bit of a conduit, allowing Lindsay to question Lon’s motives and perceptions. This is an important part of the book as it does give a weary sort of weight to Lon and make sit easier to the reader to connect the dots of the contradictory nature on show.
As mentioned, Sami Kivela provides the art that has subtle differences to what he has produced before. For the record, I enjoyed his work on Chum. Here, there may be a trace David Mazzucchelli that has worked its way in, although that can’t be a bad thing. Kivela’s work sis exemplary, using camera angle well, flashback panels and controlled facial elements, each aspect adding to the not always prevalent darkness inherent in the story. I did get a bit of a shock with the introduction of the circus gang and I am not sure that the strange and powered is Kivela’s strongest suit. Colors are provided by Triona Farrell with Louise Fitzpatrick and Alberto Hernandez on color flats.
Co- creators Lindsay and Kivela have wrapped up a story about the duality of a persons nature, in a crime story featuring super powers. I am not sure what is going to happen next, but I will definitely wait and see the bigger picture that this Beautiful Canvas will be a part of.
Writing – 4.5 Stars
Art – 4.5 Stars
Colors – 4.5
Written by: Ryan K Lindsay
Art by: Sami Kivela
Colored by: Triona Farrell
Lettered by: Ryan Ferrier
B-Cover By: Christian Ward