Review – Eve Stranger #1 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing (Black Crown imprint)
Writer: David Barnett
Artist: Philip Bond
Colours: Eva de la Cruz
Lettering: Jane Heir
Release Date: 8th May 2019

What would you do if you were basically an expert at everything? International assassin, precision driver, one-person hostage rescue team, saboteur…

Eve Stranger is all of these things, but the only problem is that she never remembers her achievements. Once Eve has completed a mission she wakes up the following day, with no memory of who she is or where she is. Her only guidance is notes, from herself, detailing the next mission and a location she must reach by a certain date and time, or she’ll die.

Right off the bat, I’ve got to say that this new series has some really great elements. It’s a thriller, there’s espionage, there’s the requisite shadowy organisation pulling the strings, and it’s bags and bags of fun! Eve’s backstory is a complete mystery at this point, and the letters and notes she leaves herself for when she next wakes up are her only way of recording her search for her father and for the people that are controlling her life.

Eve also doesn’t fall into the typical secret agent mould.  In fact, she reminded me a lot of Anne Parillaud’s portrayal of Nikita in Luc Besson’s film. Because everything is a new experience, she comes across as a naïf, and it’s nice to see her react as any young person would when they discover they’ve got more money than they can spend or that they know how to ride a super bike. This naivety is thrown into sharp contrast when you see her instinctive reflexes kick in and she’s a complete badass when the chips are down.

Ok, hands up, I’ve haven’t read any of David Barnett’s other books, so I’ve gone in to this completely blind. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this first issue though. It’s great fun, has a great premise and features an interesting and different kind of heroine.

Philip Bond’s Cyberpunk artwork is a great match to Barnett’s writing, and manages to balance the lighter, quirkier moments in the story with the more serious notes and the action sequences. As with the narrative, there is a definite theme in the artwork that depicts adults as not to be trusted, to be feared, that they will hurt you. There’s an almost 1950s detective comic (not to be confused with Detective Comics) feel to the artwork as well that, along with the colours provided by Eva de la Cruz, gives a great feeling of warmth to the issue.

I see a lot of people asking for recommendations for their teenagers to pick up, and I think this would definitely be something to suggest if they wanted to step outside the world of capes and cowls. I’d also say that if you’re generally a thriller or an espionage fan that this is a good series to pick up. I had fun with it and I’m already adding it to my ever-expanding pull list.

Rating: 3/5.


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

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