REVIEW: Grand Passion #1 (of 5)

Ah, true love, shall its course ever run smooth?  This is the question that Dynamite Comics is asking in this new five issue series from writer James Robinson and artist Tom Feister.

Deputy James “Mac” McNamara is new in town where he has a rough ride trying to fit in where he is not wanted.  Still when given the task of just doing his job, as arch bank robbers Steve and Mabel hit his little town, his world takes a totally different twist.

I am not sure that there is a writer that is a divisive as James Robinson.  His Starman and JSA are beyond compare when it comes to classic stories featuring classic heroes.  From there on to the much beleaguered Justice League run, Cry for Justice before a minor return to form with the origins of The Shade and 16 issues of Earth 2.  All this, before tackling the forgotten first family of Marvel, the Fantastic Four and more controversy with Airboy. To say he has been around the block is a bit of an understatement.  Now, through all that, I have been a fan of a lot Robinson’s work, yes even Cry for Justice, so the chance to look over his newest work was too good to let slip past and I am glad that I did.

From page one, Robinson had me.  As the first issue, the aim is to get the reader to take a bite and I bit, hook, line and sinker.  This isn’t the only crime noir book I have read recently, however, despite this, I still found the story fresh enough.  True, as a fish out of water, there is a distance between Mac and his cop brethren, which I hope we get to see played out.  Mable, the female antagonist is much more than a gangster’s moll, being almost the sane part of the bank robbing duo, with her fate tied to Mac’s like a fox and hound.

The art is provided by Tom Feister, an artist who has quietly been going around, doing his business.  He may be more well-known for his work on G.I. Joe, which explains why I may not have noticed his work previously.  So, bearing in mind this is my first sight of said work, I am happy to say that I was quietly impressed.  With a crime noir books, I would imagine that it would be easy to fall into heavy inks, dark environments.  Feister takes a polar opposite approach; clean lines that remind me of striped down Graham Nolan.  Equally at odds with the norm for this genre are the bright colors from colorist David Curiel.

With violence, attraction, disenfranchisement and revenge are all the ingredients of a dish best served noir with chefs Robinson and Feister is setting the heat in their noir filled kitchen.

Words – 5 Stars
Art – 4 Stars
Colors – 4 Stars
Overall – 4.5 Stars

writer: James Robinson
artist: Tom Feister
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