The first issue of Plume is an all-too-brief start to what could possibly be a wonderfully fun comic. However, by the end of the first issue the reader knows next to nothing about the premise, the characters, or the world in which the stories take place. All the reader can be assured of is that, whatever the book becomes, it will be a wild ride!
According to the solicitation text, Plue is about “Vesper Grey and her supernatural bodyguard, Corrick, hunt for ancient mystic artifacts discovered by Vesper’s father, only to be stolen by bandits.” However, in the opening issue we get very little of that. Instead we are treated to an introduction of the personalities of Vesper (strong-willed, impulsive, and enthusiastic) and Corrick (sardonic, nonplussed, and aloof). The odd-couple potential is through the roof. The glimpse of interaction between the two is pitch-perfect.
However, the actual story is next to non-existant. The book opens with Vesper and Corrick standing among a group of dead desperados. Clearly Vesper is a dead-shot. However the why’s and wherefores of their situation is never quite explained. Then there is a flashback that explains briefly Vesper’s background and hos she comes to meet Corrick. But, again, very little of this is explained.
Normally the lack of any tangible information would be enough to make me toss up my hands and walk away. However, there is so much potential in the glimpses that are offered, I found myself more intrigued than annoyed.
The art by K. Lynn Smith is the strongest element of the book. Angular and expressive, Smith’s characters pop on the page. Their facial expressions sell the dialogue and body language make the panels sing.
Added to the basic storytelling art is the use of iconography, and additional text such as is often used in manga. Arrows are added to indicate direction, words are added to the art for both humor and to make sure everything is clear (think about how text is overlaid in Sherlock). It is a fun addition to an already entertaining comic.
In the end, the first issue of Vesper is a tantalizing teaser to what could be a fun series. Or not. there is just not enough to go on for sure. But, fear not! I happen to know where you can read much more of the series than just these 28 pages. The Plume webcomic is here and gives much more than just a teaser. I would recommend potential readers start there.
Plume could be the start of something good. Unfortunately we will just have to wait for the second issu to know if that potential is realized.
Plume is available from Devil’s Due tomorrow.