Brian Michael Bendis is at his best when writing crime comics and with Michael Gaydos he has produced a promising new mini-series for his Jinxworld imprint.
Pearl is about a tattoo artist who unknowingly gets involved with the yakuza, entering a world of crime and murder. This is not the life she has always known but it calls on her nonetheless.
When I finished reading this I noticed something very crucial, that the plot actually moves at a brisk pace. Bendis quickly gets into the meat of the story, something that many of his recent comics avoid for some reason. It is a relief after reading his superhero books that move at a snail’s pace.
Bendis’ trademark wordy dialogue reads great and makes for an entertaining comic book. It is witty, adds an appropriate dose of humour and contains the perfect amount of pop-culture references. Through the dialogue character relationships are made clear without heavy exposition and Bendis slowly fleshes out his version of a crime riddled San Francisco.
The real selling point of this comic is Gaydos’s artwork and it’s some of the best the artist has ever produced. His use of colour and rough linework make this a beautiful comic that perfectly visualizes the grit in Bendis’ script. Gaydos’ treatment of the flashback sequence in particular showcases the versatility he can bring to his style and the care he puts into each page.
The only downside to this comic is how Pearl isn’t the most compelling protagonist. There isn’t much to Pearl’s personality beyond a set of skills that make her special and she isn’t the most active of protagonists. Majority of this first issue is her being forced into tough situations and she takes never takes any action that is of her own volition. Bendis seems to be crafting a tale about someone taking control of her life — at least that’s ‘my impression. Really hope I’m right and that future installments flesh out her personality beyond being a victim of other people.
After a series of mostly disappointing Superman stories it’s good to see Bendis back to doing what he does best. With a little more character development and the brilliant art of Michael Gaydos, Pearl can be another epic crime story for Bendis to add to his bibliography. So far it’s off to a pretty good start.
What did you think of Pearl’s debut issue? Do you like or completely disagree with anything I’ve written? Either way I’d like to know so leave a comment.