Helena Crash #1

by Forrest.H on March 22, 2017

Helena Crash #1
Writer: Fabian Rangel Jr.
Artist: Warwick Johnson-Cadwell
Publisher: IDW Publishing
A high-octane introduction to Rangel and Johnson-Cadwell’s new world, and titular heroine, mostly nails the landing in an issue that’s relatively bare bones, but equally honed in on the elements it needs to be.

Crash exists in a world of fantastic imagination. Aliens, robots, maybe even werewolves walk amongst us, coffee is illegal, street gangs apparently run the streets. It’s a cohesive, narratively and visually arresting world with a solid character at the center. Crash herself.
A smuggler of sorts, Crash mostly deals in the trade of the illicit coffee but is drawn into a much deeper crime conspiracy of sorts by the issue’s end. We’re not given much on Crash, unfortunately, making it a little hard to connect with her – the bare bones aspect of this issue – but we can garner she’s capable, strong willed, smart and direct. Everything a protagonist seemingly needs to exist in this inconceivably well depicted world.

Equally arresting is Johnson-Cadwell’s art. A kind of mosaic cubist sci-fi style, the art eschews realistic traits (Crash’s anatomy is wonky and intentionally inconsistent it seems) to more fully draw readers into this world. It works. It works very well. Expressive, layered, complex and at times elegant, the artistic effort here is admirable, realized.

This is a book, even its first issue, that has a very clear and direct mission statement, a clarity to it. It’s energizing, intense and fantastical all at once. I’m enamored and I hope many other readers will be, too. 

Our Score:


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