Indie Comic Review (and trailer) : Pherone

Story by: Viktor Kalvachev Art By: Viktor Kalvachev 104 pages $14.99 Image Comics

Pherone is one stylish book.

There is no getting around it.  Pherone is a sexy comic that is a feast for the eyes.  It has a sharp sense of design that borrows heavily from Bran Stelfreeze and Dave Johnson, with a bit of Frank Miller (a la Sin City) thrown in as well.  There are blinding flashes of color, that accent the use of negative space and shadow.  In short, this book is meant to be seen.

There are a few times where the art is a bit inconsistent.  There are lines on the main character’s face in one panel that give her a distinct look, but they are absent in the next panel.  However, since this book was produced over a relatively long period of time (approximately a year), the detailing in the art grows stronger as the book progresses.

Pherone is the story of Eve, a dangerously seductive woman on the edge of her sanity, It is a story filled with espionage, mystery and suspense. “Armed with a killer body and a killer’s mind, the femme fatale must hunt down clues to rediscover her own troubled past, bringing violence and danger to anyone who crosses her path.”

The story of Eve is a slow burn that leaves many more questions than provides answers.  At first there is a bit of a feel of the old Aeon Flux cartoon because the sections of the comic do not seem to tie in to each other.  They seem to be moments in time that may or may not have anything to do with each other.  However, as the book progresses, we start to see how everything is linked, and mystery is revealed.  the addition of a new writer part way through the second issue definitely helped with the storytelling.

Notice that I said “mystery” and not “the truth”.  While there are some revelations in Pherone, there is definitely not a conclusion.  Pherone feels half-finished.  It is a good pilot and would serve as a worthy series (in fact, it would make a fantastic television series along the lines of La Femme Nikita). It left me wanting more.  There is definitely much more material to be mined here.

In short, Pherone is a beautiful book that increases its potency with exposure.  I can only hope that strong sales of the collection will encourage the creators to return for more.

Pherone is in stores today.

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