Vengeance, Nevada

This cover is beautiful.

Story and Characters by B.J. Mendelson
Art and Letters by Piotr Czaplarski

Today’s book is an effort by BJ Mendelson, and right away, I wasn’t thrilled with the book.  Call me petty, but the red blocky lettering was a bit of a turn off, though the cover art was pretty good. 

  Then I get into the book.  I’m going to start with the art.  I like the fact that it’s mostly black and white, but they use color for emphasis.  The eyes being colored helps you sort of keep track of where they are as people in the book, and that helps.

  I like the style it’s drawn in.  It brings me back to a few books I read in the 90’s, but really works well, especially when they add the color, it really makes it pop.  I’d say it’s in a style that is a dulled down realistic.  You don’t get a ton of over exaggeration, and the lines are very crisp.  For my taste, I’d give the art an above average.

  Now we get to the story.  I read through the book a few times, and to be honest, for a new book, I thought that it jumped around quite a bit, which muddied up the story. 

  From what I gather, Kristen has a job as a cop, but also works for another organization, but it’s been compromised, leading to the death of her boyfriend Jake, also known as Reiko.  I think him and the group were robbing a bank when they were attacked, but I am not sure.  All I know, he didn’t make it out.  Later we find out that someone has compromised the group, but that wasn’t revealed.

  This allows Kristen to be visited by death, and death gives a little background on an ancient battle, and gives Kristen a sword that was originally owned by a priestess, who wanted balance and justice, just like Kristen.

  I don’t want to spoil the book, so I won’t go on with the story.  To be quite honest, I’m not sure I totally understood exactly where the story was going, so that is part of the reason as well.

  I just felt that there were things that I needed to know before I read this book.  I think that if this was the 3rd or 4th book in the series, that I would totally be on board with it, understand it a bit better, and like it more.

 Unfortunately, it is the first book, and it really made me want more, and not in a good way.  I thought it was confusing somewhat, and not well explained.  If it’s the story I think I got, I did think it was interesting, didn’t really fall into the “ancient weapon/super powers” trap so many do, or at least not yet.

  So to recap, title page has good art, but I’d really have liked it more with a little different script. Something to draw the eye at a glance. The inside art is good, the use of color for effect is clever, and was a pleasant surprise. The first half of the story was somewhat muddled, too many gaps to fill with your mind, and it left me a bit confused. Once you hit the midway point, it starts to shape into a story, and that left me wanting more.

  That being said, I would probably give the next few issues a shot, if anything just to see how they are going to go with Kristen.  I’m not sure I like the character yet, but the potential is there.

  I obviously need to come up with a rating system, so I will work on that.  It’s worth giving it a shot, but from what I’ve read, I’m not 100% sure I’d go past more than a few issues at this point, but the potential is there.

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Author: Jay Roach

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