Comic Review: Damsels #1
Damsels is Dynamite’s brand new fantasy series written jointly by Leah Moore (for those who don’t know yes she’s related to that other Moore) and John Reppion. The issue opens with ‘Once upon a time…’ letting you know right there in panel one this is a comic heavily inspired by fairy tales. The title and setting might first evoke ideas of swooning ladies waiting for shinning knights to rescue them but that’s the last thing this series is. Fairy tale it may be but this story’s queen is more Cersei Lannister than Disney’s Cinderella. Speaking of Cinderella, recognisable fairy tale characters are present with Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel to name a couple. Don’t be fooled though, you may know some of the names but these are original characters simply inspired by their storybook counterparts.
The comic is set in the mythical city of Caumont which is practically a character in itself. Throughout the issue we’re given enough glimpses to imply that there’s a lot going on in this bustling city, and in fact the kingdom at large. It’s apparent that Moore and Reppion have spent time fleshing out their world and I’m intrigued to see where things may lead down the line. The issue actually covers two storylines which run concurrently and although they cross over briefly they’re separated again by the end. Additionally we’re teased that there’s a shady scheme going on behind the scenes which is surely foreshadowing some sinister future developments.
The art by Aneke nails the fairy tale atmosphere perfectly. This is a wonderful and colourful world that compliments the story perfectly. It’s fantastic to see a comic where the two work so well in harmony. Crowd scenes look busy and energetic while the more personal scenes are filled with emotion of their own. Indeed if you were to ignore the words entirely and just go by the illustrations you can still follow the story, which is a sign of the well crafted artwork.
I certainly had enough fun with the issue to come back next month. This is a land that feels like it has depth and history to it with a lot of room for the series to stretch it’s legs. There’s enough going on that I want to see where things lead as well, it’s a strong start for what I hope will be a enjoyable series for the months to come.