RV9 #1 opens with a dramatically striking front cover by Nicolas Salamanca, coloured by Mauricio VIllarreal. A young woman dancing, arms elevated, lit in red against a blue and violet background.
Part One of Five of this Mad Cave release is written by Ben Goldsmith. It’s the future, 2055 in fact, in Rome. The assassin Velveteen has ‘regrettably’ escaped the clutches of the Order of 9. And they want her back. The Order had abducted her from here family as a child, you see, and molded her into an assassin. Now, intent on revenge on the Order, Velveteen is helped in her quest by two men: an American hacker named Jasper and a rookie cop named Pazzi.
Created by Mark London, RV9 has promise. The concept of the abducted assassin seeking revenge is not a new one, but hey, it’s all in how you tell the tale. What storylines, which characters, and so on. Unfortunately, the telling here is confused, hard to follow. We are frequently confused by the twists, turns and just plain mysteriousness of it all. We need the synopsis and the libretto to understand the opera. Speaking of opera, there are scenes in RV9 that seem gratuitous, extra to the clarity of the central plot, which is: Who is Velveteen, who abducted her and why?
Penciller Travis Mercer and inker Miguel Angel Zapata put their best foot (feet?) forward in illustrating this story of the prodigal assassin, but again, things get off track. The drawing angles confuse us, we slow down to decipher strangely angled panel shapes, and some well-meaning closeups only disorient us. What is going on? On the plus side, the faces, hair, expressions are wonderful, and colourist Maria Santaolalla provides plenty of atmosphere. Santaolalla gives us dramatic environments, candy coloured buildings, moody shadowed alleys.
RV9 #1 is a mixed bag. Good concept, but a slow read, full of twisting threads that we need to unravel. Let’s hope issue 2 is a smoother yarn to work with!
Mad Cave Studios, RV9 #1, $3.99 for 34 pages of content. Assume Teen + Rating
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