Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review: THE ANSWER! #1

DARK HORSE COMICS – @DarkHorseComics

STORY: Dennis Hopeless and Mike Norton
SCRIPT: Dennis Hopeless
ART/COVER: Mike Norton
COLORS: Mark Englert
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S.

Part 1 of 4

Mike Norton is the creator of the Eisner Award-winning web comic, Battlepug. Dennis Hopeless is a writer for Marvel Comics (Avengers Arena). The Answer! is a new, four-issue comic book miniseries created by Hopeless and Norton. The series focuses on a librarian and an odd, masked crime fighter.

In The Answer! #1, we meet Devin McKenzie, an insomniac librarian who works at a research library. Devin has a knack for solving puzzles, which results in an out-of-the-ordinary 30th birthday gift from her mother. The gift leads to the “apeiron” website and Chip Carney, an ominous-seeming motivational speaker. When things go crazy, things get really crazy when Devin meets The Answer!, a masked crime fighter with a giant exclamation point on his face mask.

The cover for The Answer! #1, by co-creator and series artist, Mike Norton, does not convey how different this series is. I don’t know if The Answer! is a superhero; he seems like a costumed hero/masked man type – more like The Spirit than Batman. So The Answer! comes across less like a superhero fantasy and more like a mystery series featuring a resourceful heroine. This is a girl-on-the-run tale, and of course, there is a man of mystery who happens to understand the conspiracy set against our girl-hero.

And I love it. I like Norton’s clean, traditional art, which owes more to Alan Davis than to Bryan Hitch. Dennis Hopeless’ script is smart, funny, and (dare I say) sassy, like its heroine. Although I think that this first issue offers too much teasing, for my taste, I am delightfully surprised, and I want to read #2, now! Readers wondering if they can find something both offbeat and good will find The Answer!


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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