Curb Stomp #1 introduces girl gangs who are tougher than nails and ready to defend their turf no matter what.
Curb Stomp #1 is another indie comic in a stream of girls behaving badly stories that stretches from the Kitchen to Bitch Planet. Despite picking a rather popular trend, writer Ryan Ferrier introduces readers to the ladies of Fever a gang based in Old Beach. The girls are a gang in the sense that they protect their rough neighbourhood from the influence of other gangs that are interested in ferrying drugs and weapons onto their turf, rather than because they have something to prove.
Curb Stomp #1 is from Machete Betty’s perspective as the unofficial leader of Fever. She introduces readers to the dynamic, mystery and romance of Old Beach and the necessity of Fever’s existence. One of these reasons is Betty’s niece who doesn’t deserve to live in such a questionable area as she does. Each of the girls who make up Fever along with Betty are rough around the edges, just as the protagonist is, but in the heart-of-gold diamond-in-the-rough way that I at the same time predictable and delightful. Ferrier has managed to have one characters for every readers (especially his female readers), to identify with, one favourite character for everyone in Curb Stomp #1.
Ferrier handles the aforementioned character design with aplomb in a manner that never comes across as pandering, which is nice. He also gives voice to a female protagonist in a way that makes her not only relate-able, but likeable to boot which speaks highly of him as a writer and the co-creator behind Curb Stomp #1.
Naturally, there are rival gang antagonists to Fever and in the pages of Curb Stomp #1 readers get the chance to watches these forces come together and unify against our cast of women. Not only does these male characters bear a gender difference to Betty and the Fever girls, they also represent vice and danger entering Old Beach and threatening to destroy all the progress they are working toward – even in their, perhaps, misguided way.
The catalyst in Curb Stomp #1 that sets off the rest of the series comes at the hands – or rather the feet – of Betty herself. In an act of violence that would be horrifying to any person, although when the circumstances are taken into account doesn’t seem like the worst thing that could happen. Not only does Betty’s overreaction put her friends and family at risk, it encourages gang warfare to break out on the streets of Old Beach and under her very nose.
Curb Stomp #1 is sufficiently badass and thoroughly entertaining. Ferrier has cast his book with some very strong female characters in a contemporary climate where that is very much needed. Their mettle is sure to be tested in emotional and physical proving grounds. This is a solid issue with a lot of through behind and, therefore, a lot of promise in the future.
ROUGH AND TUMBLE ART
Devaki Neogi is the perfect artist to be on Curb Stomp #1. His linework embodies the “rough around the edges” quality of the book, setting and characters that I mentioned above. Machete Betty and her Fever girls are solid and sexy and when they throw a punch Neogi’s lines put enough power behind it that you know they mean it.
Curb Stomp #1’s Old Beach setting feels very lived in. Neogi infuses the neighbourhood with history and dangers while never losing the sense that this place could be home to someone who truly loved it. Neil Lalonde layers colours on top of Neogi’s pencils and inks that breathe as much emotion into Old Beach as it does into Betty and Fever.
This issue looks good. Curb Stomp #1 is striking, bright and hash to match the narrative.
BOTTOM LINE: SOLID FIRST ISSUE
Curb Stomp #1 is the door that could lead to a great series. Neogi and Ferrier know what they are doing and have managed to cast an issue with a plethora of females that you can’t help wanting to know more about.
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