Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Cover #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: Years in the making, from the award-winning team of Brian Michael Bendis and multimedia sensation David Mack, comes a brand-new graphic novel experience. And it’s all kind of based on a true story. Sort of…

Deep in the American intelligence community, someone realizes that comic book creators, who travel all over the world to sell their wares, might make the perfect cover for operatives in the dangerous, topsy-turvy world of intelligence and counterintelligence…and that’s when all hell breaks loose. This is the story of the time the world of comics and the world of international spywork smashed together—with unexpected results!

Artist David Mack, follows his Emmy-nominated work on Jessica Jones and his critically acclaimed video work for Dashboard Confessional and Amanda Palmer, brings another completely unique vision to this driving comedic spy story that is also a beautiful Valentine to all those creators who sit alone and make beautiful stories.

Close to 20 years ago, artist/writer David Mack had a very interesting mini-series/ongoing series called Kabuki. It's hard to sum up in a few words, but it had a secret agency, Japanese assassins, and a deep storyline with beautiful art. In the meantime, one of Brian Michael Bendis's first books was called "Fire" and told the story of a college student recruited into the CIA (if I remember correctly). Combine these things together, and you have the general idea of Cover #1 by Bendis with art by Mack.

Presented as "based on a true story. Sort of...", Cover tells the story of a comic book artist who is recruited to work for the CIA. This premise alone was enough for me to give it a chance, but I'm a fan of most of Bendis's work, and loved Mack's Kabuki series and his art on Daredevil, among other things. The first issue introduces us to Max Field, the artist/creator and very reminiscent of David Mack himself, and Julia, a CIA analyst and recruiter. Their introduction at a comic convention leads to another "coincidental" encounter in London. It is there that Max and Julia have the conversation that sets the stage for the rest of the series going forward. And I for one am looking forward to seeing how this story develops.

As for the writing, Bendis just has a way with words, especially with this type of crime/noir/espionage book. There is a slow approach to the plot that allows all the players to find their place. Bendis is a master at characterization, and you can see the beginnings of that in Cover #1. He is also adept at putting in some humorous dialogue, and the character that seems to be based on him is pretty funny. The art is gorgeous and is typical Mack. It adds to the overall atmosphere of the story.

I highly recommend Cover #1 by Bendis and Mack. It hearkens back to some of the early work of both, but with the benefit of their many years of experience. Of the new Bendis books DC Comics is putting out under the Jinxworld imprint, this is my favorite so far. I'm really looking forward to seeing where the story goes. Do yourself a favor and pick it up.

I received a preview of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

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