Writing - 8.5/10
Art - 7.5/10
Overall - 8.0/10
User Review( votes)
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Michael Gaydos
Letters: Joshua Reed
Design: Curtis King Jr.
Tattoo Designer: Diego Martin
Publisher: DC Comics
Maturity Rating: Mature
Release Date: August 15, 2018
With Pearl #1 we’re introduced to new original characters, from a familiar creative team.
Bendis and Gaydos Introduce Us To the World of Pearl #1
DC’s first round of comics from Brian Michael Bendis’s Jinxworld finally kicks off with Pearl #1. Since Bendis’s departure from his exclusive contract with Marvel, he has now entered an agreement with DC. Moving forward the company will publish his creator-owned material under the Jinxworld banner. This week marks the beginning by reuniting the minds behind Jessica Jones (the creative team of Bendis and Michael Gaydos). This time they’ve come together to tell the story of Pearl, a talented tattoo artist living city in the of San Fransisco who, through a chance encounter, is forced into becoming an assassin for the Yakuza.
Strong characters can make any story enjoyable. So when picking up a book with the name Bendis printed across the cover most have come to expect the strongest of characters. With Pearl #1 Bendis takes the time to remind us of exactly why. Setting the location in San Francisco establishes a world that we are already familiar with. Even if from the exposure we’ve seen we know about hills, bridge, and the eccentric citizens. Using that as a tool, Bendis is able to step away from worldbuilding and instead on establishing relationships.
Mainly the focus is placed on Pearl; through the issue, we see how she interacts with the various different people in her life, from her family and friends to her employers. This issue contains some of the most realistic and flowing dialogue, which has come to be expected of the team. How the characters address one another, make little jokes with each other, works to inform of where they stand. Though the story does not immediately suffer from the lack of worldbuilding, it can cause some confusion. Specifically when the locations change and when characters enter the scene without so much as an explanation. These moments can feel a bit jarring. But as stated before, the story doesn’t suffer from it; in any case, it’ll just make you hungry for more.
Dealing with the world of tattoos, the book unfolds as a love story to the neighboring art. The team even has their own dedicated tattoo designer, Diego Martin. But the art of Michael Gaydos is what really pulls you in. Each panel looks as if it were a candid photograph. It is the perfect style to accompany this character-driven story. The audience is able to see these “captured” moments of these new characters living their lives. However, during the action sequence, the organization of the panels doesn’t necessarily flow together, as you move your head around trying to figure out what is going on. Being that it is a crime story the use of colors to elicit the feeling of watching a noir drama fits within the context of the story. It really shows the thought that Curtis King Jr. put into the design.
Starting off, Pearl #1 leaves the reader with more questions than answers, as any number one usually does. Characters are fun and relatable and the conversation between Pearl and her friend Kim was a definite highlight for me. As we find out more of what the Yakuza has in store for Pearl, the ride that Bendis takes you on makes this a book well worth a spot on the pull list.
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