Free Comic Book Day 2015: Book Reviews, Part Five
NEIL GAIMAN’S LADY JUSTICE FCBD (Super Genius Comics) Based on a concept by Neil Gaiman. C. J. Henderson, writer. Michael Netzer, penciler. Rick Magyar, inker. Alex Wald, color. Ken Bruzenak, letterer. Painted cover art by Daniel Brereton www.supergeniuscomics.com
I can imagine several FCBD attendees saw the Gaiman name on the cover and snatched this one up, only to groan and be discouraged upon opening up the book and discovering that he did not write the story. Hopefully, they continued on, read the story, and were pleasantly surprised at the quality of both script and art. In fact, this book is so good that I’m going to recommend it right now, before I finish this first paragraph!
Super Genius Comics is a new imprint, a new venture from Papercutz (great graphic novels for young readers), aimed at an older audience. For their debut titles they have chosen to reprint in trade paperback collections for the first time some classic books from the former Tekno Comics (a 1990’s joint venture by Big Entertainment and The Sci-Fi Channel). Neil Gaiman actually created three separate concepts for Tekno, and Super Genius will reprint them all.
With a veteran group of creators at the helm, LADY JUSTICE is a fast paced, dark, grim and gritty crime story featuring a wheelchair confined heroine who is given an opportunity to seek out the guilty parties and achieve justice. A former ballet dancer, Lady Justice has some fighting moves that will make Black Widow and Black Canary take notice.
COVER APPEAL: Absolutely lovely in every respect. Brereton conveys the right sense of mood, mystery and menace. 3 points.
STORY: Gun battles. Tragedy. Conspiracy. Blood thieves. Drama. Pain. Loss. Agony. Justice. Compassion. Action. To some, this may seem a little hokey compared to today’s sophisticated scripts. If you remember the 1990’s were the comics era when art trumped story, then this script rates above average for quality. I especially like the very last page - - just panels of art with a single caption for each: “It’s the crowning performance of a former ballerina . . .brought out of retirement by fate . . .choreographed by destiny . . . performed for an audience of one . . . who purchased his ticket at the going rate . . . and now . . . has been paid in kind.” Nice, Twilight Zone ending. 2.5 points.
ART: You will not be disappointed at the detail, design or panel placement. This is good stuff. 2.5 points.
NEW READER APPEAL: It’s an origin story, so everybody starts at page one. The text page gives a nice background on the publishers involved. 3 points.
PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS: Between the text page and the ads for the new trade paperback collections on the back cover - - this serves as a nice introduction for Super Genius. 3 points.
BONUS POINTS: WOULD I PERSONALLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK? Of course. I have many of the Tekno comics in my collection, including this one. I’m glad to see LADY JUSTICE find a new audience. I recommend picking up the trade paperback. 2 points.
FINAL RANKING FOR LADY JUSTICE: 17.5 points HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.