Image Comics 2017
Written by Sean Lewis
Illustrated by Caitlin Yarsky
I’m a sucker for stories like this one. It really does blend aspects of modern teenage warrior with a classic backstory that not only allows for the young woman, in this case Analia, to experience loss, growth and a rebirth. All the elements are here so fans of franchises like Buffy, Bitten or even Being Human will take to this like a duck to water. There’s a rawness to this that is undeniably cool and yet harsh as all get out. As we see Analia’s story unfold from the opening to the end of the issue we get see this world that she lives in and it’s not safe for anyone.
The opening here is that moment which is needed to sell a new reader on the book. It needs to catch your attention make you want to keep turning pages to understand what happened. Sean and Caitlin make one hell of team here because with so little wording to open this up it really relies upon her ability to make the illustration sing. To me seeing Analia in that outfit in the middle of all this takes to this Hispanic version of Lone Wolf, sans cub. If that isn’t enough to make you stop in your tracks then something's wrong.
I’m impressed with how Sean structured this book. From the opening to the interview room to seeing her past it has this flow to it that makes it all seem right. As if after experiencing what she did in the opening Analia then flashes back to her life that had led her to that point. All the while we are introduced to the most eclectic cast of supporting characters around. Eyepatch, her best friend, The Duchess who takes her in and raises and trains her to the cop Frank who is a transfer to the City of Lost Girls. All of them will play roles in Analia’s life throughout the run of this book and I'm expecting to see those roles change, morph and evolve over time.
At first glance the work Caitlin does is usually stuff I kind of pass over. There is this whole simplistic aspect to it that really belies the work she puts in here. Her eye for storytelling is magnificent as her use of page layouts with their angles and perspective show. That we can see innocence and the lack thereof in the same character throughout is stunning. There’s a creativity and imagination here that I wasn’t expecting either and that falls in with the Duchess and her clothing which I absolutely adore as well as the ferocity of the Coyotes.
This is an introduction in every sense of the word. To our star, her supporting cast and this world they live in. Even better is the fact that Sean isn’t just content to introduce us to them but he teases us with it as well. From the towns knowledge of what the night holds in store, to the reasoning the Duchess takes in all these girls and the fact that these Coyotes are so feared are all hit upon but left incomplete. These are all points we’ll be seeing more over time I’m sure but for now it’s perfectly executed so that it leaves the reader wanting more.
From the premise of the story through it’s execution with some extremely smart and interesting characterisation to some of the most intriguing interior artwork around this has what it takes to be a standout series. There is no shortage of genre books out there so be unique and standout like they do here is spectacular to see.