[*Mild Spoilers Ahead]
A monster attacks the city, and the police are so far powerless to stop it. A van arrives, and a guitarist named Jake steps out. He begins to play is guitar, and the Murder Falcon appears to fight the monster. We then jump back a week to when Jake was just a down-on-his luck former guitarist just trying to scrape by in an uncaring and cold world.
On the surface, Murder Falcon #1, with its central premise being an over-the-top metal-obsessed superhero, resembles Joe Casey and Ulises Farinas’ New Lieutenants of Metal. I’ll admit that, when I started reading Murder Falcon #1, I was wondering how there were two comics like this being published by Image at the same time.
That’s not quite a fair comparison, though. Where New Lieutenants of Metal revels in its over-the-top premise and characters, and almost never touches ground, Murder Falcon aims to balance out its ridiculous premise with many somber and grounded moments of Jake coping with how his life has turned out.
It’s surprisingly earnest and even sad at times. It’s hard not to feel for Jake given what the comic implies, and you want to see his life turn around for the better.
The action beats are insane, with the Murder Falcon fighting empowered by Jake’s guitar shredding. Like New Lieutenants of Metal, I feel like there is something lost given that comics are a silent medium that can’t make you hear the music, but the idea is awesome enough to work as a concept.
In addition to his writing, Daniel Warren Johnson’s art works fantastically. The world looks as gritty and cold as it reads, and the designs of the monsters and the Murder Falcon himself are great. Mike Spicer’s color work is similarly dower and ominous but is off-set by the Murder Falcon and the wild colors of the monsters.
Murder Falcon #1 is an awesomely over-the-top and ridiculous premise accompanied by an astonishingly human story about a musician at the lowest point of his life. Jake is a compelling character, and the Murder Falcon is an endearing and caring companion for Jake. This one is definitely worth a look and earns a recommendation.
Murder Falcon #1 comes to us from writer, artist and letterer Daniel Warren Johnson, colorist Mike Spicer, and cover artist Daniel Warren Johnson.