Solitary #1 (Devil’s Due)


CREDIT: Devil’s Due

Rating: 4/5 – New Twist on the Super-Hero in Prison Story.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

I really enjoyed this debut issue, but in the interests of remaining “spoiler free” this review is going to have to be very vague on the specifics of the story.  Writer CW Cooke has given us what I thought was a really cool twist on the standard trope but this issue is very heavily weighted on setup.  So much so that if I describe too much of the setup that is going to launch us into the meat of the story I will have described the entirety of the 1st issue.

Timothy Shawn is a super-hero and he’s in prison at the opening of the story.  On death row ready to go to the electric chair to be precise.  What exactly he did to get there is hinted at (murder) but not specifically revealed yet.  He proclaims himself to be innocent (don’t they all?) but the reader has not yet been made privy to the precise details of the incident(s) that landed poor Tim in jail.

I really enjoyed the art by Nando Souzamotta, blocky, angular, and with minimal backgrounds, but with a sense of presence in the people that really caught my eye.  The backgrounds are extremely minimal which is a common complaint I have in comics.  It typically means that the story lacks a sense of place, and that happens here to some extent, but it also caused me to focus more on the people in the story and Souzamotta did a really nice job of telling the story through the characters in the absence of detailed backgrounds.  I also liked the use of symbology instead of words in the dialogue balloons on some of the early pages.  I’d love to see Cooke’s script and see how those pages were described so I could see how much of that is specified by Cooke and how much is innovation by either Souzamotta or letterer JD Arnold.

I’m extremely intrigued by the bits of information Cooke drops in this issue and really want to see how this tale unfolds over the next few issues.  This issue was so heavily weighted to setup that it could go in any number of directions in issue #2.  My enjoyment of the series is going to heavily depend on how much I like the puzzle pieces as they fall into place, but in this kind of series that’s most of the fun.  I think of it as ‘rolling the dice’ but it’s a gamble I’m happy to make when I finish up a first issue with that “I can’t wait to see what happens next” feeling that I certainly got here.  Come on guys, get #2 on the stands!

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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