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Hugh Likes Comics: Made Men

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Made Men #1
Written by Paul Tobin
Drawn by Arjuna Susini
Colored by Gonzalo Duarte
Published by Oni

mademen

Frankenstein Revenge Noir. It’s a beautiful concept, and Tobin and Susini pull it off brilliantly in “Made Men.” The book opens with a bloodbath, a hit on a team of police officers. The whole squad is mercilessly gunned down. But the squad’s leader isn’t exactly who she says she is. She’s a Frankenstein, and after one of her grandmother’s recipes allows her to survive the bullets, she’s entering the family business to get revenge.
Tobin’s script goes off at just the right clip to toss us into this revenant revenge tale. Susini’s art is a perfect tonal match, gritty and visceral with just the right level of gore. Duarte’s colors are muted and lurid, exactly like the old school pulp the story evokes.
As a collaborative medium, a comic works best when the art and text either support each other completely, or diverge in interesting ways. “Made Men” does the former, and it is exquisite. We get some outstanding montages, as Jutte Frankenstein narrates on top of the gothic-noir art. If you’re a fan of classic noir or classic horror, this is a fantastic start to something you won’t want to miss. You can find Made Men #1 at your Local Comics Shop, or digitally through Comixology!
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Hugh Likes Comics: Mystery Girl

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Mystery Girl #1
Written by Paul Tobin
Drawn by Alberto J. Alburquerque
Colors by Marissa Louise
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Mystery Girl 001-001
Trine Hampstead is London’s premier Street Detective.  She can solve any crime, or answer any question before you ask it.  She make a living consulting on the pavements of London, but having all the answers isn’t enough for her any more.  When she is asked about the location of an ill-fated Siberian expedition, she takes the job on the condition that she’s a part of the next one.  But Trine’s employers aren’t the only one on the trail, they’ve hired a hit-man rather than a detective.
“Mystery Girl” is another charming story story from Paul Tobin, the writer of the superlative “Bandette.”  Trine is a refreshingly down to earth character in spite of her oracular talents, and the colorful supporting cast of her customers are just as endearing.  Most of the issue is spent introducing her powers and her little interactions with the people of London as she goes through her day.  This is more of a magical realism story than a typical super-hero comic.
It’s hard to write a character who knows everything well.  It’s not a flashy ability, and it rules out a lot of conflict right off the bat.  But Trine has just the right mix of empathy and mystery to make me want to know more about her.
Alburquerque’s art and Louise’s colors are well done as well.  The figures really seem to pop from the background, reminding the reader that this is a comic about people, and the setting is relatively unimportant.  This is a good thing, because the one glaring error is the comic’s presentation of London.
I wonder if an early draft of Mystery Girl was set in the U.S. or Canada.  Although the art is thoroughly British, the dialogue has a lot of Americanisms that weren’t caught before production.  For example, Trine is refereed to several times as a ‘sidewalk detective,’ and events are described as taking place ‘blocks away.’  It is somewhat distracting, and English readers will probably be taken right out of the story.  Early volumes of Garth Ennis’s ‘Preacher’ had similar problems.  I feel like the story is good enough that this wasn’t a breaking point for me, but your milage may vary.
“Mystery Girl” is an great first outing to a new series, that with a closer editing, could become something truly magical.  I will certainly waiting to see where Trine’s investigation leads.  You can find “Mystery Girl” at your local comics shop or online from Comixology.

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