Propeller – Issue One
Written by Ricardo Mo
Art by Alberto Muriel
Lettered by HdE
Logo and Cover Variant by Rodolfo Reyes
Published by Instant Astronaut Publishing
Available from Wednesday 26th November 2014 from Comixology
The Story: Let’s be fair here, Rex is a bit of a difficult guy to be friends with. He’s a selfish idiot, with powers he’s got from old Nazi experimental equipment made by his father but never used in wartime. After foiling a bank robbery we see him arguing with his best friend Hud.
Hud is a friend whose only weakness is that he’s too loyal, a loyalty that’s a detriment to his family life and possibly more. The incident at the bank has real world implications. Someone is out to blackmail Rex. It’s there that the world gets complicated and messy…
The Review: Illustrated by Alberto Muriel in black and white Propeller looks and reads like a polished product. His work has a classic charm reflected, for example, in his attention to clothing and settings that suits this new comic’s black and white movie vibe perfectly.
The issue opens with a series of deftly crafted, wordless pages that create an energy through action and tension without a single sentence being uttered. It’s a brave move that works exceedingly well.
The story’s transition from action to intrigue is handled well, using personal relationships and intriguing characters to drive the narrative. Everyone in Propeller is flawed in the grand tradition of noir fiction. In quoting Hitchcock as an influence, I totally get where Ricardo is heading to structurally with this first issue. It’s the hook that he uses to propel (apologies!) the story forward.
To me, Propeller has more in common with a book like Gabriel Hardman’s Kinski or Brian Azzarello’s Filthy Rich than it does a super-hero book like Kirkman’s Invincible, for example. The use of a crime novel with an injection of super powered fiction has definitely turned my head.
Ricardo Mo is a British writer from Bournemouth and you can find him and the webcomic that preceded this series at www.propellercomic.com.
I asked him about his influences and intentions for the series.
“I’m a fan of a fair bit in this genre,” he says. “I have the Darwyn Cooke Parker books sitting proudly on my shelf and I’m slowly working my way through Yiddish Policeman’s Union, which is great so far.
“Classic crime movies like The Untouchables and LA Confidential are always welcome in my house. Also in terms of superheroics supprting a different a different genre of story Brubaker’s Sleeper and Incognito planted seeds in my mind years ago.
“The four issues that ran as a webcomic make up this mini-series, which is the blackmail/bank robbery fall-out storyline, then the plan is to eventually do another four-issue arc straight to Comixology submit. That will get us to a place that I could happily walk away, stories told, and focus on something else.”
Do yourself a favour and grab a copy from Comixology when it comes out this Wednesday.
Propeller #1 will be live at this link on 26th November 2014 between 9.00am & 10.00am EST:http://cmxl.gy/1HqnCn9
Antony Esmond is a comic reviewer and writer – his hips don’t lie.