Tuesday, August 13, 2013

1st Impression: MOLLY DANGER - Book One Review

Written by Jamal Igle
Art by Jamal Igle, Juan Castro & Romulo Fajardo Jr
Action Lab Entertainment


                We start with Coopersville Cop and Helicopter Pilot Austin Briggs flying towards danger as a Supermech, a super powered villain in this universe, is attack … with an actual giant mecha. The Super mech is called Medula and Medula believes that flesh is a prison for people and that they should be like him, having their brains joined in metal bodies.  No … I am not kidding. Medula and his giant robo causes trouble as the title heroine arrives … and gets smacked away from Medula and his robo into some buildings. Molly ends up near where Briggs is flying and Briggs, against orders, flies Molly back into battle where she punches through the robot … taking down Medula.

                After that, we see that Molly is a celebrity in Coopersville … a very secured one. Molly is watched nearly 24/7 as DART keeps tabs on her. Briggs, for disobeying orders, is reprimanded by his commander yet finds he is chosen to be a new pilot for DART … which he is EXTATIC about with him, his wife and his step son. His step-son, Brian, does not seem very happy with him.

                Meanwhile, the commander of DART, Lauren, talks with Molly about Molly’s want to hang out with some of the children. Lauren reminds her that she is not a ‘normal’ child. Lauren does this again when Briggs and a bunch of new staffers are orientated into DART.

                We find out during the course of the issue that Molly is actually an alien who is the lone survivor of a crash and that she’s in her 30s, even though she looks like she’s 12 years old.  Briggs ends up taking Molly on another mission against another super mech, a speedster named Slipscott. Between the quick thinking of both Briggs and Molly, they are about to capture Slipscott. This stunt, though, gets them both in trouble with the DARTs Commander. As the book continues, the two start to bond as we find Molly very lonely.

                As the book ends, we find that the super mechs have always worked separately. Yet, that looks as if that is about to change.

                The art. What can I say about the art? Oh yes. IT IS FREAKIN’ AMAZING!! Jamal Igle delivers the work of his career in this book. And that is no surprise, considering that Molly Danger is an idea that he’s had for over a decade. Igle’s clean pencils really shine in this. They are crisp, smooth and full of energy. Every last stroke is used to bring you into the world of Molly Danger, enthrall you with the characters or give you dynamic visuals that will burn themselves into your brain for years to come. Igle’s sense of anatomy for men, women, ethnicities and more are all on display as gives some of the best art I have ever seen … PERIOD.  Dynamic backgrounds, great eye for proportions, wonderful pencils.
                And I can honestly say, Igle picked the best inker and colorists for this book as we are delivered wonderfully strong, sharp inks from Castro. Castro makes sure that no expense was too small when inking this issue as they build upon Igle’s pencils and gives tremendous shading in his inks. Castro makes sure every line is defined in his inks. Fajadro Jr shines in this book with wonderfully vivid colors that match the set and tone of the panel. Fajadro Jr really knows how to use his light source well as he lightens or darken’s color on people’s faces on panels based on the light source. That is often ignored in comics save for dramatic effect. Fajadro makes sure that the color in this book is one of a kind and succeed.

                The character designs were great as they mixed the old school comic book style with some modern touches. This book’s art is one of the best I have ever seen in anything.

                Igle is best known for his art but this book proves he’s an excellent writer as well. Igle proves this book with a fully realized word, some originality to old concepts and manages to make complex characters while still keeping the book family friendly. To say that is no small feat in today’s comic book market would be an understatement. Igle does great making sure that we know this world is very different. Giving super villains their own name, having arguments between the city and DART and the fact that DART’s headquarters is also a museum are prime examples of Igle establishing this world of Molly Danger.
                Molly Danger herself is very complex. She’s a 30 year old in a childs body. She’s lonely but she is kept as a weapon. She obviously is not stupid by any means …given the vocabulary she uses at times. She likes what she’s doing but she is also very lonely. Yet, Igle keeps an air of mystery to her. The fact that Molly is not only a weapon but she’s also being used for merchandise and tourism is a great twist. Igle takes a lot of classic hero tropes and turn them on their ear. Lauren’s insistence that Molly is a weapon while still selling her likeness speaks volumes on how much DARTs NEEDS Molly; not only to save people but to just pay the bills.

                I also enjoyed the characters of Austin and Brian. Austin is a man who wants to do the right thing, even if it is against policy. That is seen time and time again this issue and it is a real noble quality that shines through. Brian is a character that was just starting to see development but his resistance in excepting Austin was a fresh approach and balanced out his love for Molly Danger.  There definitely seems to be a lot to come from both these characters.

                The fact that both supervillans had such different motives was also interesting as Slipscott was a man who wanted money while Medula … is honestly one of the most original villains in comics. A man who believes flesh is a prison and that machines are the way is definitely something new to comics. This type of innovation should be applauded as Igle uses it well. Again, addressing mature themes while not being overly gory or hyper sexual is a testament to Igle’s skill as a writer. This is classic comics writing style given a modern facelift and it works. I am beyond sold when it comes to Molly Danger.

                Superb Art. Wonderful pacing. Great Innovation. Complex characters. A fully realized and original world. I’m all in.


                Molly Danger: Book One is one of the best book I have ever read. Anyone in your family can read it and enjoy it, regardless of age.  Molly Danger: Book One gets a 10 out of 10. Buy it, preorder it, buy it for your friends. You have to experience this for yourself.  The book is available for preorder now on Amazon and will come out October 15th, 2013.

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