Mild Spoilers Ahead
It’s July of 1864. The place is Alabama. Anna Hoyt is staying in the Donovan Plantation, but she must leave. It’s been eight weeks since Jim “Whitey” Donovan left to join the Confederate war effort, and one week since Anna’s sister committed suicide for what Whitey did to her. Anna is going to kill Whitey for that, but she can’t do it on her own. She’s made a deal with one of the Donovans’ slaves, Hattie. Anna will free Hattie and help her get North if Hattie helps Anna find and kill Whitey. Unfortunately, neither of them are natural survivalists, and there is still a Donovan on the plantation who will try to keep this liberation from taking place.
Kill Whitey Donovan #1 brings a new Civil War-era revenge tale to us through Dark Horse Comics. Anna Hoyt wants to kill Whitey Donovan no matter what it takes, but how many people will she leave broken on the way to her goal?
This particular story of revenge differs from others in many ways. Anna, despite being a good shot, doesn’t come off as the most adept fighter or survivalist. It’s apparent from the get-go that, despite some good intentions, that she will likely get other people hurt and killed for her selfish goal.
It’s also clear from the get-go that a major motivator for Anna is that she has nothing better to do with her time. She’s a part of the southern leisure class; she has nothing to really live for. Her station in life expects her to lie back, pop out a few kids, and be a dutiful wife. That is an existential nightmare, so why not kill the man you hold responsible for your sister’s death? I like that this aspect is made clear from the beginning, as it adds layers to the tale.
Natalie Barahona’s artwork is gorgeous and distinct from other artists on the market. There is an oil painting-like smoothness to it, and her figures are dynamic and expressive. The action scenes are intense and visceral. Her color art is vibrant and pops off the page.
Kill Whitey Donovan #1 is an explosive and compelling first issue for this Dark Horse mini-series. It gives us an engaging lead, a solid plot, and great visuals. It already foreshadows how our lead’s flaws will likely be the downfall of those around her, if not herself too. It’s a damn solid read, and I can easily recommend it. Feel free to check it out.
Kill Whitey Donovan #1 comes to us from writer Sydney Duncan, artist Natalie Barahona, letterer Troy Peteri, cover artist Jason Pearson, and variant cover artist Natalie Barahona.
Final Score: 8/10