Effigy #1 (DC/Vertigo)


CREDIT: DC/Vertigo

Rating: 4/5 – A Plucky Ex-Child Star Turns to Law Enforcement.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

Effigy starts out with a scene from the Disney-Channel-esque young adult series Star Cops and if you pick this Vertigo series up to check out, make sure you go beyond the 1st four pages.  On page 5 the series takes a sharp left turn when writer Tim Seeley transitions to present day and we see that Star Cop Bebe Soma has turned into the adult small-town police officer Chondra Jackson.

What follows is a masterful exploration of the fall and maturation of a child star, touching on a lot of the headlines we’ve seen in the press about young actresses desperate to update their careers, some tactics having more success than others.  Seeley syntehsizes those news-bites into a believable backstory for Chondra that led her from Hollywood back to her home town of Effigy Mound, Ohio and her career from child star to police officer.  The little bits of characterization for Chondra sprinkled throughout the issue really brought her to life for me.  Co-creator Marley Zarcone’s art is a perfect match for the story and he clean lines and delicately rendered faces really sold me on the characters.  One page in particular, a 9-panel expository scene where Chondra speaks to the camera, put Zarcone firmly on my radar as a master of carrying a scene through nothing but facial expressions and dialogue, right along with masters of this art like Amanda Conner and Kevin Maguire.

This issue is all about the setup.  Seeley and Zarcone are building a new world, populating it with characters, and setting up an intriguing story that will carry us along for many issues to come.  The great success of this issue lies in making me care about the characters.  Making me feel a reality in the world.  Setting up a really interesting situation with some great hooks that are making me eager to come back for more next issue.  This is the way to do a #1 issue and I will applaud the creators the best way I can, by giving them my loyalty as a reader and coming back again for issue 2.  Another comic with a great female character in the lead role has been added to my “must read” list.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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