Writer: B.J Mendelson
Art: Piotr Czaplarski
To start with, Vengeance, Nevada is undeniably beautifully when it comes to its artwork. Its striking black and white style adds an edge to the characters and matches the tonally dark storyline. Also, in a move similar to comics like Sin City, it uses its colour selectively. A pair of glowing blue eyes here or a fiery sword there, and one character picked out in full colour. It’s a great plot point to show how otherworldly this particular character is, and really helps to emphasise their importance for the rest of the story.
On the subject of the plot, I found that while there are a lot of interesting ideas here, it does feel a bit like the writer bit off more than they could chew for an introductory issue. It jumps between scenes with simultaneous explanations of one character whilst showing the actions of unexplained new characters, leading to somewhat disorienting reading experience.
The main character is a cop, but also a mother and someone with military experience. Or is she a former bank robber? Or is that her on the superhero team that emerged out of nowhere? It’s extremely confusing trying to figure out when the events took place, too. Was it this world at first with the Star Wars references, or possibly the future or some alternative universe? Honestly, it felt a bit like Tolkien when he was so excited about all the mythology he’d created that he spent an entire chapter describing a tree or having Gandalf sing in Elvish for five page. It’s definitely intriguing, but there’s no solid foothold for the reader to latch onto.
For me this world would have been a lot more balanced if the writer spent more time setting up and establishing the world rather than throwing it all into a single issue. That said, some plot points do grab your attention, things like the repeated reference to a gigantic angelic war that has already happened, or the mysterious events which led up to our protagonist becoming an avenging angel. Her links to the apparent Avenger-esque superheroes also serve to pique some interest – who’s the big monkey bloke dressed as Sherlock Holmes and why are religious languages like Hebrew interspersed between the common use of English? Most importantly, why is Nevada so important!? It’s in the title but after three separate read-throughs I’m honestly none the wiser.
In spite of this, the fact that I have all these questions is still a good thing to me. Vengeance, Nevada has clearly sparked an interest in me where, like many other indie comics, I can’t help but find myself wanting to know more. It’s going to appeal to the nerds and was definitely written by one. I get strong vibes of the Fifth Element mixed in with early Brian Singer X-Men and a few other nods you’ll pick up on along the way. It just feels like this introduction could have almost been stretched out into three issues rather than just one.
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The first issue of Vengeance, Nevada is now out for purchase on Comixology HERE.
The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
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