Nicole Sinclair, aka Lady Action, goes into action in a short tale that has every thing from action to drama to double and triple crosses to action. How much action can we back into this action packed review, read on to find out. ACTION!
Title: Lady Action #1
Written by: Tony Lee
Pencils by: Jake Minor
Inks by: Chad Hunt
Colors by: James Brown
Cover A: Paul Gulacy with James Brown
Cover B: Carl Maiorino & Fabian Nicieza
Cover B Model Credited as: Nike Rubin
In comic stores this week from Moonstone Books, Lady Action #1 was released online as a free download on PanelFly several weeks back in PDF format. As I write this Thursday night, it is still available to download for free. This is where I found it, and this is where my review opinions are based on.
The story we read here is strangely familiar. A.C.T.I.O.N., the secret intelligence/covert ops agency has gone through a huge internal conflict and the pieces on the board are in flux. Nicole Sinclair is sent in undercover to a party at the home of the leader of the British A.C.T.I.O.N. branch to steal files which may prove some sort of wrong doing. In doing so, she uncovers information that the superheroes of her world, Savior, Offshot, Flashpoint, Green Circle and presumably others, may have been working for the otherside all along. After her mission assistant/handler turns on her, she is forced to change into her “work clothes” and be taken away to be killed. By the way, her “work clothes” are her Lady Action togs. Along the way, the tables turn a few more time, a friendship s betrayed, and a friend is lost. Things are set up, and plot lines are opened.
When I read about this issue, it was said that it was a stand alone story; one that required no knowledge of the Captain Action universe to enjoy. Well, I’m not really sure if that was a good description. The story throws you into the action with no life line whatsoever. No explaination of what the A.C.T.I.O.N. Directorate is, what the big explosion was, who these superheroes are supposed to work for,nothing. Given, it is not that hard to figure out, but I finished the issue wondering if it was really worth my time to have downloaded it, even thought it was free.
Let me hit it by the numbers. Tony Lee, a British writer I have admired for many years, delivers what should be a good action yarn. Instead, it reads like a teen boy’s idea of the perfect she-spy. I get the idea that Lady Action is supposed to be a female James Bond, but things like the Size-Doesn’t-Matter conversation just seem so over done I could hear the rim shot drum effect in the background. Don;t you have to be called Martin and Lewis to have conversations like that with a straight face? The overall plot was good. The twists that the story took where potentially entertaining, but the dialog was really more immature than I expected.Â This is Moonstone. In my opinion they alway aimed for a little more mature audience, not the pull-my-finger crowd.
The art is good. Jake Minor and Chad Hunt deliver the sexy Agent Sinclair with a toned look that would make the most plastic filled Hollywood babe green with envy. There is nothing spectacular or groundbreaking here, but it is good solid work. It does the job and tells the story.
I guess that I was disappointed in the overall feel of the book. Given, it has been a few years since I delved into the Moonstone stable of titles, and Captain Action is a kinda cheesy character no matter what you try to do with him, but I was still pretty disappointed. I remember the old Wally Wood issues from back in the early 70’s from DC and just wonder if this Captain Action was less about making Captain Action stories that it was about introducing new super heroes for later consumer consumption? Lady Action could work, but to have her carrying her “work clothes” in a little clutch style purse just stretches it, and it turns into little more than another “bad girl” wanna be title. Lots of flash, little style or longevity.
Now, there was a silver lining. In the back of the book there was an article by Michael Eury entitled “The Original Ladies of Action” that gives a little detail on the rare Comic Heroine (aka Super Queens) line of posing dolls from the 1960’s. Modern day and vintage toy collectors should read it, as it is a nice little three page piece.
Also, I belive the model for the Cover B is named Niki Rubin. In the Panelfly download she was credited as Nike Rubin. You can see more of her in the fan film Catwoman: The Diamond Exchange by Chris Notarile (among other movies). I’m not sure if this mistake? made it out in the print versions or not.
I’m going to be quick and merciful here, and just give Lady Action #1 a rating of 2 out of 5 stars.