Eponymous is a British comic that appears in VS Comics, a monthly digital book featuring various creators telling their stories. Eponymous is one of those stories, featuring action, drama and a female superhero. Major Spoilers looks at the first issue, collecting the first three chapters. Does it entertain? Your review awaits!
Previously in Eponymous: Superheroes are no more, all having been forgotten or dead. Now a new superhero has appeared. Unfortunately, it’s predicted she will bring about a global massacre…
Eponymous is definitely thrilling, telling the story of a young girl who has dreams of horrible events taking place. These premonitions all come true and her newest, one in which a female superhero commits murder on a global scale, has the government extremely concerned. The eponymous threat in question is Casey, a young woman who has recently appeared in a world where superheroes are no more. After a shootout with a SWAT team, Casey takes the young girl to her apartment, where she learns of the atrocity she will commit. Casey takes it upon herself to go on TV, wanting to have “a little chat about genocide.”
I was truly engaged all throughout the issue, not sure what to expect and enjoying the story as it unfolded. It has all the elements of a great thriller: a government secret organization, mystery, and action, all with a strong female protagonist. Casey is a unique superhero, her costume is more military and practical in style and her actions are more that of a soldier than a super powered being. Her motivations are unclear and we’re not shown what her powers are, other than she is fast and extremely focused, but she certainly seems heroic. The story is generally told well, providing a nice action sequence in the middle of the book that played much like a movie. Exposition is given in a clear, although slightly heavy, manner. Lots of the information is vague, though, leaving lots of questions, most involving the world in which Eponymous takes place. Only by reading the synopsis, was I able to gather that superheroes were no more. Garley’s vagueness does work in his favor some, giving the reader a mystery to latch onto. Who is Casey and will she commit a global massacre? Who is this young girl with visions and what is the secret organization’s role? Garley is in full control, letting the mystery unfold bit by bit and providing enough intrigue to keep you coming back. Being the first three chapters collected, each with their own cliffhanger, it feels a little choppy. Still, Garley’s story is gripping enough that he has me hooked.
The main problem with Eponymous #1 is its price. Being a British book, Americans are subject to a much higher cost, £5.00 ($7.79). Add to that a £4.50 ($7.01) shipping cost and you have an extremely high, and overpriced, 36-page book. You’re better off buying the first three digital VS Comics, getting the same amount of story (as well as other tales) for $9.36. That’s a lot to ask for a U.S. reader, and while the conversion rate is no fault of the publisher, should be taken into account.
CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TURN ON A LIGHT?
Martin Simmonds’ art is one of those very divisive styles, taking photographic reference and then penciling and painting over them. The merits of this style don’t need to be discussed here (nor at all, anymore), but should be mentioned as many are turned off by this kind of work. While it is jarring when first viewed, I had no problem with it as Simmonds adds enough to it that it becomes its own. The coloring is well done, using a digitally painted technique that gives a sense of surrealism. This style isn’t without its faults though. Many backgrounds are simplistic or non-existent. The biggest issue, and it may be a fault in the preview copy we were given, is that some scenes are incredibly dark. There is a moment where members of the organization are talking in a dark room and while this is appropriate for the scene and adds mood, drenches the drawings in so much black that some characters are completely covered. I had no idea how many were present, only given some idea by the dialogue balloons. Even brightly lit scenes have heavy shading covering facial features and expressions. Simmonds is obviously a talented artist; it just would have been nice to see more of it.
BOTTOM LINE: GOOD BOOK, BUT PRICEY
Eponymous is a good comic, no doubt about it. Though vague in parts, the story is thrilling, original and provides enough mystery as to hook the reader. Though there are issues with the art, it’s done well and services the story. For U.K. readers I say pick this up, or at the very least try VS Comics #1. For those of us in the U.S., there is definitely an enjoyment vs. price. I can’t justify paying $14+ dollars for a printed comic but if you were curious, my suggestion would be to buy the digital version of VS Comics #1 (www.vscomics.co.uk) and see what you think. If you like it, then maybe continue with that book. If the other stories are as good as Eponymous, then you’ll be getting more for your money. Eponymous #1 earns 3 out of 5 stars.
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!