Written by Trico Lutkins
Art by Joshua Werner
Published by Source Point Press
Jack of Spades #1 comes to us from Source Point Press, an upstart publisher from the State of Michigan that specializes in pulp comics and anthology stories. Jack of Spades exists in a world where humans with special abilities, or parmies, have become known to the world and there are those who seek to control parmies from misusing their powers. The story follows Spade, a parmie himself, who is hired to bring in other parmies that abuse their powers.
For those such as myself who missed out on issue #0, which came out last year, there are two pages of news broadcasts that act to summarize what happened previously and bring the reader up to speed. As every issue is someone’s first, these two pages are critical to the story of Jack of Spades.
This issue is very dialogue heavy, and suffers at some moments because of it. Some words struggle to fit into their balloons or onto the page, and some bits could be cut altogether. The script would have benefited from another draft or having a fresh pair of eyes looking over it before it was sent off. That being said, scribe Trico Lutkins has created a colorful cast of characters in a dark world. There were a few moments that didn’t seem to make much sense (why is the 2nd best card dealer in town pouring drinks instead of dealing cards?) that I think could have been worked in differently.
Artwork was done by Joshua Werner, whose style mimics Spade’s character flawlessly. It’s dark and gritty, full of value. I didn’t care much for the cover, which looks a lot like one character is a ventriloquist and the other is a puppet, but maybe that was the intention. Also, the opaque black background makes the cover look incomplete. Werner’s interior work is great for this kind of story, and his skill with whitewashing is evident.
The lettering in this issue could use some considerable work. Many of the panels and narration balloons contain an ample amount of extra white space below the letters themselves, which I found distracting. Another dilemma with the lettering is the font choice. The letters ‘P’ and ‘R’ are very similar in this issue and on more than one occasion I had to stop reading in order to discern between the two. The sound effects are put to good use and have a strong overall quality.
Overall, this story would have benefited from another draft of the script. There’s a lot of dialogue that could be cut to create a cleaner look on the page and an easier read. Werner’s art is fun to look at and his panel composition is excellent. Jack of Spades is off to a decent start and if they take their time with future issues, Jack of Spades could be something special.
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