This week, I wanted to draw attention to two of the new books being put out by Boom! Studios.
Curb Stomp #1 (of 4)
Curb Stomp was a book that sold me on premise alone. I was promised a gritty, all-female take on The Warriors, a favorite film of mine, and the book delivered above and beyond expectations. Curb Stomp is the story of The Fever, the aforementioned all-female gang, who own one of three boroughs outside of an unnamed major city. On either side of their territory are the Bayside Five and The Wrath, gangs of drug dealers and weapons dealers respectively. A particularly violent night paired with a high-level conspiracy pits The Fever against their enemies in a bloody turf war.
This book is just a cool book. The entire time I was reading it, that was the single thought that kept resurfacing. It’s a stylish tale of rebellious, punk rock gang members fighting to defend their homes with molotov cocktails, knives and sarcastic banter. However, the book is more than a group of badass characters fighting for their lives against appropriately slimy enemies. Ferrier takes care to give the characters distinct personalities and provide nuanced motivations for their actions. I enjoyed the dynamics between the members of The Fever and I look forward to further exploration of their backstories in future issues.
The art in the book perfectly matches the tone the writing sets. Neogi has poured a lot of work into the character designs and that shines through on the pages. The style is sharp and, combined with colorist Neil Lalonde’s technicolor palette, evokes an eighties grindhouse tone. The only issue I had with the art is that some of the action scenes appear too static. Neogi doesn’t capture the motion of two characters fighting and it makes for a distracting break in the otherwise excellent pacing.
I reviewed Cluster #1 and enjoyed it quite a bit, so I was excited to get my hands on the second issue. Overall, I’d say that it loses a bit of momentum, but the book still makes for an enjoyable read. We join Samara and the three surviving prisoners of the fight as they race back to the prison before their timers run out. The issue reveals a bit more about these prisoners past and the greater story that is being woven around them.
The story follows some of the expected tropes of the military sci-fi genre and those parts are perfectly functional, if a little underwhelming. It’s the characters that are driving this series. Brisson continues to slowly reveal Samara’s past and the mystery is one of the strongest parts of the book. The rest of the cast seem to have secrets as well and Brisson capitalizes on these to make for a great cliffhanger. Couceiro’s art is just as impressive in this issue as last month. The characters are well designed and their facial expressions are exquisitely detailed. I did run into another page where the panel layout was a bit confusing, but overall the book flows smoothly.