Review – Heartbeat #1 (BOOM! Studios)

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Story & Artwork: Maria Llovet
Lettering: Andworld Design
Translated by: Andrea Rosenberg
Release Date: 20th November 2019

Eva is a high school outcast, a scholarship student at an exclusive school where she doesn’t fit in.  She is reminded of her station daily by the bullying Violeta, whose house her mother is employed at as a cleaner. Facing exclusion and daily abuse at the hands of her tormentors, Eva is adept at moving unnoticed through the halls and corridors of the school, but when her wandering brings her to a horrific discovery, her life will change forever.

Maria Llovet is most definitely an artist on the rise. Her last series Faithless garnered a lot of acclaim for her spectacular, sensual and in some cases overtly erotic artwork accompanying Brian Azzarello’s demonic fantasy. Heartbeat looks set to continue in this vein with some wonderful artwork that is beautiful, challenging, sensual and at times disturbing.

However, I am going to have to say that this opening hasn’t wowed me quite the way that Faithless did. Visually it is certainly a fantastic first issue, but from the point of view of the narrative, I just didn’t feel it. What I don’t want to be is too harsh in my commentary on this book. I really enjoy Llovet’s artwork, there’s a touch of Guido Crepax and Jim Mahfood in her style, but with the unmistakeable influence of Manga comics layered throughout. I think however that Llovet’s narrative is not as well developed as her art, and this is where this issue suffers a little for me.

That being said, I think Heartbeat has the potential to become a series as challenging and intriguing as its artwor,k but I think I would like to read this as a graphic novel rather than in instalments to better appreciate the story.  I do wish success for this series but for me it’s going to be one that I’ll wait for the collected story to come out before reading any more.

Rating: 3/5.


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

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