We're seeing quite a mix of genres in DC Comics since the "New 52" came about. It's great to have choices and not all comics need to be focused on superheroes. The DC Universe is proving to to be a vast and diverse place now. We're seeing that there are several dark corners and some of them are in plain sight.
James Robinson introduces us to Kassidy Sage, the FBI's top serial killer profiler. When a senator's daughter is abducted and the signs point to a serial killer, Sage is called in. Her first stop is at Belle Reve Penitentiary for an unfortunate meeting to seek more information.
This is where the story shines. Right away the mood is set. There isn't a lot of action here but it's not necessary. The tension present is more than enough to drive the story's pacing forward. We're being introduced to a new set up and you can simply feel the potential where this can go ooze from the pages. Kass Sage could be a great character. There aren't many strong and intelligent female characters in comics and she appears to be just what we need…as long as James doesn't kill her. But seriously, due to her lineage, she's likely to be made from extremely stern stuff.
Let's not forget that Vandal Savage is here as well. This is a moment where the idea of the "New 52" is fun and exciting. We have a strong idea who he is and where he comes from but of course we won't know for sure until we see how it all plays out. He's in a pretty interesting situation, one that definitely needs to be fleshed out more.
Bernard Chang's art fits nicely with the story. Kassidy is an attractive character but she thankfully isn't drawn in the typical 'comic book female' fashion. In other words, she looks like a believable character. Chang also tells a lot of the story through expressions. There's a couple pages where the focus in on Kassidy's and Savage's eyes. You can see and feel the atmosphere being created as these two have their conversation. And when the action does kick in, Chang makes it all look really good.
Just from the first issue, despite not knowing a whole lot about Kassidy, she seems like a very likable character. My concern would be where could she fit in after this story? Will other comic readers embrace her as she deserves to be? We don't just need comics full of super-powered characters. Having a seemingly normal one once in a while is great for mixing up the landscape in comics.
With this first issue in the story of Savage, we're immersed in a psychological story. Kassidy Sage is a smart, talented and strong female character. She's definitely what we need more of in comics. Her connection and the introduction of Vandal Savage into the modern day "New 52" creates a fascinating sense of tension for the story. Too often comics start to feel a little redundant with gobs of flashy superhero action. Robinson is setting up a more cerebral story. There is a Silence of the Lambs feel to the story and the idea of that in a comic is outstanding. I love my superhero comics but I also love a really great comic that offers something a little different once in a while as well. Bernard Chang's art is a great fit for Robinson's story. With the lack of spandex (or armored heroes), Chang has to create a more realistic setting and characters which he succeeds in doing. One thing I notice (or get distracted by) is the way artists draw expressions through the eyes. You can feel the emotion coming from their expressions and it's a pleasure to see when reading a comic. It's hard to say where exactly this story will go but I'm already hooked and eager to find out.