Money Shot #1 Review

by Jay Hill on October 24, 2019

Written by: Tim Seeley & Sarah Beattie
Art by: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors by: Kurt Michael Russell
Lettered by: Crank!
Published by: Vault Comics

I didn’t know what to expect when I opened Money Shot #1. The covers had intrigued me and the brief tagline, “Their mission: Seek out new worlds. Discover new life. And f#$- it,” gave the comic the potential to be either a wild ride through space or an unfortunate failure to launch. I’m glad to say this first issue delivered on what it promised. In the opening flash-forward it wasn’t immediately clear they were going to pull it off, but the more I got into the comic the more it became apparent this was something different. The story follows the tenacious Dr. Christine Ocampo and the team of the Star Shot teleporter project as they deal with a lack of funding and waning morale. But the ambitious leader finds the solution to all their problems in others’ pleasure. She decides to use the machine to find alien life in order to film pornography for the bored population of Earth. Thus, funding their project and allowing them the time to explore the worlds for more productive means when filming is finished. She pitches this plan to the others and, although apprehensive at first, they eventually come along. They begin their journey into a brave new world for both space and sexual exploration.

This comic book is hilarious. The humor is some of the best and funniest I’ve seen from any outlet in some time. They make it funny without having every line feel like it’s leading to a punchline. Some of the jokes are so good because the set up to them is so well hidden until you get to the payoff. I’m guessing that is the work of co-scripter Sarah Beattie, a comedian and actor. But, without intimate knowledge of the creation of the comic, I would just be guessing. To continue my guess, I’m going to give credit for the brilliant plotting and characterization to the other writer, Tim Seeley. The story is so well structured in this first issue. It introduces the characters with an already established dynamic. The team begins on shaky terms with Dr. Ocampo and for reasons that back up their eventual acceptation of the ridiculous plan this story is based on. I can only liken the plot to something out of an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Someone comes up with a plan that makes no sense but makes complete sense, especially when the characters forget their morals and just go along for the ride. Every line that wasn’t a hilarious joke, built the characters up so their motivations never felt questionable. It also made great use of group shots that explained the personality of everyone and their feelings towards one another.

The art holds a secret subtlety that may not be apparent at first glance but is key. In a story focused on sexuality the art never feels like it’s doing the same. It is conservative where others would choose to be gratuitous. Rebekah Isaacs is not only a great artist with a modern style appropriate for the futuristic and sci-fi elements of the story, but she knows what to highlight to get the fullest out of the writing. I’ve seen big-name superhero titles have the most unnecessarily sexualized shots for the story they were telling, but this story somehow got an artist that does the opposite. No matter the context of the scene, one example is a group sex scene, the art puts the storytelling and characters first. That can be seen best on the cover. Although it is implying the sexual nature of the themes, it gives everyone a slight display of their personalities. Dr. Ocampo is playing to the camera and controlling the stream, Omar is a little more reserved, Doug is pumping iron, Bree, who is seen doing yoga throughout the issue, is stretching serenely, and Annie is completely uninhibited. Kurt Michael Russell's colors and shading give everything a nice depth. The colors and art come together in my favorite shot of the chained-up team reacting to the "Bweedt!" noise. There is also a cinematic quality to the shots and scene transitions which appears to be where the great art and great writing is meeting.

I cannot recommend this comic enough. It could have been a cheesy exploitative romp. But what it has pulled off is incredible. It has all the hallmarks of a creative team firing on all cylinders. It’s a work of fiction that is fresh, well-executed, and relevant to our culture. Every second of this first issue is put to good use and I can only hope they have much more in store.

Our Score:


A Look Inside