The Georgia O’Keeffe College of Arts and Subtle Dramatics hasn’t historically had the best sports teams. That’s where Charlie comes in! Your Major Spoilers review of The Avant Guards #1 awaits!
Writer: Carly Usdin
Artist: Noah Hayes
Colorist: Rebecca Nalty
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Editor: Shannon Watters
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 23, 2019
Previously in The Avant Guards: Welcome to the Georgia O ‘Keeffe College of Arts and Subtle Dramatics, an historically all-female school whose population is decidedly more drama geek than jock. Liv, aspiring actor and basketball enthusiast, doesn’t understand why she can ‘t be both, but she seems alone in that belief… until Charlie. Charlie is a recent transfer, a star basketball player, and the answer to all of Liv ‘s problems. She ‘ll stop at nothing to get Charlie to join the ragtag group of misfits that make up their fledgling basketball team.
ONE PLAYER SHORT
Our story begins at student enrollment, as young Charlie Bravo arrives for her first day as transfer student. Charlie does not seem thrilled with anything, from jokes about her name to the school’s major in Improv to the idea of unpacking. She can’t even find anything fun to do at the Activities Fair (which has some really funny moments in it) until she’s accidentally struck by a basketball. That’s when she meets Liv Bates, who desperately wants to field the school’s first sports team, but needs one more player for a team of five. Returning to her room, we see the first positive emotions from Charlie as she looks at the photos of her previous school’s team. Some time later, Liv and Charlie cross paths once more in the (very disused) gymnasium, where they bond a little bit over the love of the game. Charlie agrees to join the team outright if Liv can make a half-court shot…
…buuut she falls short.
ART SCHOOL ALLEY OOP
I have to admit: I picked up this one entirely due to the good-looking cover. The interiors are equally lovely, especially the coloring. The last page of the issue, wherein Charlie agrees to sit with Liv and the rest of the team and finds her first real happiness at the the school, is really wonderful and full of character. The animated facial expressions throughout the issue are also a joy, clearly showing us every thought in Charlie’s mind. I also enjoy the story and was reminded of my own college experiences and the universal moment of “entering a whole new situation uncertain and ending up finding a cool group of friends” makes for a feel-good first chapter. Knowing that this is a 12-issue mini, I wonder about where things go from here. Will we be seeing a Mighty Ducks-style battle for a championship? Or just a group of friends coming together as a makeshift family? Regardless, I want to read more of this comic.
BOTTOM LINE: A LIKEABLE BOOK
Long story short, I recommend The Avant Guards #1 to anyone who loves comics based on the strength of the art and production, as well as a cleverly written and engaging story, making for a well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars overall. This is a true all-ages title, accessible by younger readers but still enjoyable for adults and really well-drawn.
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THE AVANT GUARDS #1
Reminded me of my own college experiences, which is a good thing, though everybody is better looking here. Also, they're into sports.