How does the story of a mother and daughter play out when you have crimefighting thrown in?
It's clear that the first thing you will notice about this issue and series is the art. Amanda Conner is simply amazing. You could get a complete understanding of the events from this issue by just looking at the images without reading the text. Her attention to detail and facial expressions. It feels like it's been too long since we've been able to see Amanda's art in a series and this shows it was worth the wait.
Of course you won't want to just look at the pretty pictures here. Darwyn Cooke delivered the first issue of the Minutemen last week and is back to show the relationship between Laurie Jupiter and her mom, the original Silk Spectre.
When it comes to the WATCHMEN universe, you don't expect a light-hearted tale. It was a gritty world and Conner's art and the fact that this is a sort of coming of age story for Laurie catches you off guard. We get to see Laurie in high school, struggling not only with the typical issues teens do but there is also the superhero/training angle. There are touching moments that are a mix of afterschool special and superhero action.
Some of the story elements felt a little cliché. You could tell where things were going and what struggles Laurie would be facing at school. We've seen these high school/bully stories many times. If it wasn't for Conner's art, I could have easily skimmed over them.
Some of the dialogue felt a little awkward. I don't feel like I really gained any new information here but there does seem to be some promise in what will happen in the next issue.
Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner do a great job in capturing the youth and character of a young Laurie Jupiter. Conner's art is everything you'd expect and this could easily be a textless comic with the entire meaning coming across through the art. Unfortunately due to the nature of the story and the struggles Laurie faces at school and with her mom, the events feel a little cliché and predictable at times. This wasn't necessarily one of the BEFORE WATCHMEN titles I was most looking forward to but it was having Cooke and Conner attached which made it a great deal. With this first stage in Laurie's life over, there is an interesting set up for what could happen in the next issue. It's an extremely fun issue and Conner's art is so incredibly descriptive. You'll find yourself looking over the pages again after reading just to take in Conner's art. This series is off to a good start. Let's hope the next issue really takes off and knocks us off our feet.
Getting just two pages of THE CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR is feeling a little odd. It clearly doesn't flow with the main story. It might be something I'd want to read collected or in chunks when all the first issues are released.