Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Legend of Joe Moon #1 - A Review

Legend of Joe Moon #1
Pit Brothers Productions

Writer : Gonzalo Ventura
Art: Manuel Silva & Leonardo Silva
Grayscale: Jonathan Silva

I read a lot of other people’s reviews and often you have to read a paragraph or more to ever find out what the hell they think of a book, but I can’t hold back that long. This book is an excellent comic book western with a nice supernatural twist.

The story is a prototypical hard as nails western. Joe is a bounty hunter and this issue opens as he returns to town to claim his bounty. Joe reminds you of the “man with no name” of the old Clint Eastwood westerns. He presents the heads of the criminals to the sheriff to prove that he has taken out the bad guys. Even the sheriff is taken back by the brutality it would have taken to decapitate these men. Joe does not share that he is werewolf with people. (I think that would tend to put a damper on conversations.)

The rest of the story has three different story lines being handled. The first is the sub-plot is about whom Joe will go after next. We see him grab a bounty sheet and then cut away to the bad guy. The actions of that bad guy show him to be a nasty and evil person. The second story line is about Joe and the sister of the woman he saved. He ends up in bed with her and has at least one night to forget his life. The third storyline intersects as we see the father of the boys Joe kill come after Joe. Joe gets attacked in the bedroom but runs away so as not to turn into the werewolf and hurt the girl. The killer follows and thinks he is hunting a wounded man and gets a werewolf instead. Needless to say this ruins Joe’s chances of developing any thing more then a one night stand and Joe takes off into the night.

The final page shows what appears to be Joe’s father showing up and he has been revealed as the man who turned Joe into a werewolf.

This book is a fantastic western and just a well written comic. It draws you in with a simple premise. Then it builds characterization and story lines to keep you coming back for me. Another big plus to me is that the writer knows how to tell a complete story in each issue (#0 & #1) and still build sub-plots and background on his main character.

The artwork is also well done. All comics are a visual medium first, so the pictures are at least as important as the story. The Silvas deliver. You can feel the dust and dirt as you walk in the streets; the saloons have the smell of liquor and smoke. The barmaid is as pretty as they come and still looks like a real woman. The action scenes are well done and I especially like the point of view chosen when Joe is diving out of a window to avoid being shot. Then of course the money shot is when Joe turns into a wolf to take out his pursuer. The layouts, camera angles, emotions and all the rest are all there and while some of the backgrounds are sparse, so was some of the old west.

This book is so much better then so many books on the racks that it is a shame it is not being published by an American publisher.

Try buying it here.
Check out a preview here.

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