Advance Review – Bad Luck Chuck #1 (Dark Horse)

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Lela Gwenn
Artist: Matthew Dow Smith
Colours: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: Frank Cvetkovic
Release Date: 27th March 2019

What do you do when you’ve been cursed – like, cursed by a demon cursed – with BAD LUCK from birth? And we’re not talking about your usual, run-of-the-mill BAD LUCK, but the preternaturally bad kind that really justifies those capital letters? Wiring shorts around you, gas bottles catch fire, water tanks burst, buildings burn down, that kind of luck…

Well, faced with this very situation, Charlene “Chuck” Manchester decided to embrace her curse and turn it into business as a one woman disaster for hire. After successfully causing a launderette to burn down simply by visiting it so the owners can claim the insurance money, Chuck takes on a job to rescue the daughter of a millionaire from a cult and ensure there’s nothing left standing for her daughter to go back to. However, it quickly turns out that nothing and nobody is what they seem. Oh, and Chuck also has the slight issue that her latest job has attracted the wrong sort of attention from the FBI.

Lela Gwenn’s story grabbed me from the opening pages. This isn’t a heroine struggling to accept her lot or playing the tragic doomed soul, she has embraced her curse as a gift, and is making it work for her. Chuck has a great, dark sense of humour that is, I guess, as much a defence mechanism against her situation as anything else. The whole feel of the story takes me back to my early days of reading the Dresden Files or watching the first few seasons of Supernatural, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this story and these characters develop.

I’ve been a fan of Matthew Dow Smith’s artwork since I first picked up the Hellboy story “Box Full of Evil”, and it’s always great to see his name on a project. There is a real deadpan humour in some of the panels in this issue that work so well with the narrative. One panel in particular made me laugh a bit louder than I should have in the office… just keep an eye out for the goat, you’ll see what I mean!

With this being a Dark Horse publication and also with the involvement of Matthew Dow Smith there is a very familiar and comforting quality to the artwork, something Kelly Fitzpatrick really hammers that home with her colouring. The vivid explosions and colours in the action scenes are a fantastic contrast to the depth and shadow in the quieter moments.

Overall, this is a good first issue with great character development and artwork. There are some legit laugh out loud moments and I had an absolute blast reading it. This one is definitely going on my pull list.

Rating: 3.5/5.

The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏

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