Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Red One' #1 by Xavier Dorison and Terry & Rachel Dodson


Anytime you have the dynamic married duo of Terry and Rachel Dodson as your artist team it's going to draw some attention to your comic book. And the art is the best thing about Red One #1 by writer Xavier Dorison. This quirky Cold War era spy tale has the framework to be an exceptional book, but the narrative and details need work. 


The year is 1977 and a wave of religion-based conservatism is making a lot of noise in the form of boycotts and activism in the United States. One symbolic figure of the radical movement railing against indecency and sin is called "The Carpenter." He or she is on a crusade to kill those deemed dirty and immoral. 

This cultural phenomenon has gotten the interest of the Soviet Union and they're sending their best agent to try and curb this possible threat to an arms treaty between the two global powers. Enter Vera Yelnikov, a super soldier of sorts with bombshell looks. She's been enlisted to fly to Hollywood, infiltrate the culture and become an inspiring superhero to derail the growing conservative drumbeat. 

The premise, as thin as it is, has potential and Vera is a charming positive force who's independent, smart and vivacious. Having the Dodsons draw and color her surely helps to elevate the material. Their layouts are very thorough and bright with plenty of detail and color. The caricatures of some of the sleazier characters are perfectly drawn with touches that are right out of the late 70's. Again, the art is the draw here. 

Vera doesn't escape objectification here from male characters especially a creepy tech associate she makes contact with later in the story. She is in control though and is no dummy. She's a fish out of water in the U.S. and she's adjusting on the fly to get the assignment done. She may be a Russian spy, but she's the protagonist. If James Bond were a young Russian woman you'd have Vera basically. Like Bond, she uses her charm and good looks to gather information and occasionally hook up. 

The question is what is Red One trying to be? Is it a lighthearted homage to Cold War spy thrillers? Is it a commentary on political extremism in the U.S.? Is it a parody of exploitation films of the late 70's? It's not clear what it is currently and it may take several issues to see where it's going and how Vera will be treated throughout. 

Red One #1 is a very thorough first issue setting up the players and the plot that has the potential to be exciting, fun and sexy. It is good enough, on the Dodson's art alone, to come back for issue two and maybe three if the potential is realized. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

REVIEW: 'Wonder Woman '77 Meets The Bionic Woman' #6 by Andy Mangels and Judit Tondora

The series has been great fun but for fans of the original Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter and the Bionic Woman starring Lyndsey Wagner it's been a time machine to what could have been when these two iconic heroines meet.


WONDER WOMAN '77 MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN #6  Writer: Andy Mangels Artist: Judit Tondora Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Release Date: September 20, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
 Andy Mangels and Judit Tondora have put together a sprawling crossover event that faithfully captures the tone and aesthetic of the 1970's shows. Often complicated and full of exposition, the camaraderie between Diana and Jamie is genuine and to see them in action makes the cover price worth every penny. Bringing together not only the titular heroes but incorporating their respective supporting characters like Wonder Girl and combining villains was no easy feat but Mangels and Tondora pull it off with enthusiasm and precision.
The plot to use Fembots to…

REVIEW: 'Genius: Cartel' #3 (of 5) by Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman, and Rosi Kampe

Adam Freeman and Marc Bernardin tighten the vice around their hero Destiny when she deviates from the mission to a plan of her own. Now outgunned and trapped while trying to rescue dozens of frightened women from the cartel's sex-trade, Destiny must use her superior intellect to find a way out alive in Genius: Cartel #3.


GENIUS: CARTEL #3 (OF 5) Story: Adam Freeman, Marc Bernardin Art / Cover: Rosi Kampe Colors: Brad Simpson Letters: Troy Peteri Published: October 18, 2017 Diamond ID: AUG170655
Ignoring orders to assassinate the leader of a drug cartel, Destiny pursues her true mission—free two dozen young girls from the cartel’s sex-trade operation. With an army of mercenaries on her tail and the US border over 1,500 miles away, how will she fight her way out while protecting such fragile cargo?
Digital : $3.99 Print: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
When Destiny decides to alter the mission leaving her troops to complete the assassination of the cartel leader, she opts to lead the women a…

LONG BEACH COMIC CON Invades the Southland with William Shatner, Dave Gibbons, Cosplayers, and More

It's that time of year again when pop culture fans from all over Southern California and beyond descend on Long Beach to meet and greet some of their favorite stars from comic books, television, and movies. This year the 2017 Long Beach Comic Con offers some new exciting guests, panels, concerts, film festivals, cosplay contests, and an expansive Space Expo.


Visit downtown Long Beach on Saturday, Sept. 2 and Sunday, Sept. 3 for the annual Comic Con at the Long Beach Convention Center. This year's lineup includes legendary actor and cultural icon Star Trek's William Shatner speaking in the Main Stage room on Saturday as well as esteemed veteran comic writer and artist Dave Gibbons (Watchmen).
A con that still values comics will feature comic book vendors, artists, writers, and publishers. Approximately 100 other guests including animators, voice actors, and professional cosplayers will be participating in more than 100 entertaining and informative panels covering animation,…

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

REVIEW: 'Crosswind' #4 by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs

'Crosswind' #4 delves deeper into the situations that Cason and Juniper have found themselves in. The fates of both are increasingly in danger just as Cason as Juniper begins to stabilize the domestic life. Juniper as Cason has a target on his back and a deception that could cost a life before the two return to their rightful bodies.



CROSSWIND #4 Writer: Gail Simone Artist: Cat Staggs Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: September 27, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
The last issue was a satisfying chapter but things get inevitably messier. Cruz is out to get Cason for sleeping with his fiance Mika and making sure he keeps quiet about killing the idiotic son, Siggy, of the mob boss. He's got to play Mr. Randolph against Cason now and it's sure to set some deadly actions in motion. Meanwhile, back in suburbia, Cason just set Juniper's husband straight about his philandering. He needs help getting away as a woman so he enlists the help of a transgender woma…