Review: Begin A Possible Epic With ‘Adventureman #1’

by Benjamin Hall

This first issue has more bang for your buck than most first issues normally get by honestly living up to the triple length promise in the solicitations. It does this by giving readers a narrative through-line and the equivalent of the first three chapters of an epic tale. Writer Matt Fraction also focuses on providing equal amounts of set up in each section of this issue. Meaning that no one who reads this issue will ever be able to argue that they lost the plot at any point. Also Fraction seems to draw inspiration from a variety of pulp novel characters such as Doc Savage (Doc Savage Magazine [March 1933]) and The Domino Lady (Saucy Romantic Adventures [May 1936]). However, Fraction does so with both enough originality and modernity to not come off as trite, or lacking in any kind of diversity. And those are just the characters readers get an introduction to in the first section.

The visuals artist Terry Dodson and inker & colorist Rachel Dodson provide are dynamic yet poster worthy. For those unfamiliar with their interior work, think old circus poster design and line work meets modern sequential art and coloring. This unique visual style works with the fantastical of the pulp elements while allowing for the more realistic ground moments. Although said moments still have an air of the fantastical with designs of certain ‘real world’ rooms looking more elaborate than they normally should. This is especially true of the first room we see in the second section of this issue. As for the colors, they seemingly range from all over of the color spectrum. Yet, if one looks closely, one can see that the palette is a rather simple one with a complex execution.

Adventureman #1 (June 2020) Cover by Terry and Rachel Dodson & Clayton Cowles

The lettering by Clayton Cowles has some interesting moments stylistically. One such moment comes during section two with some different coloring of text bubbles to possibly suggest strength of relationships. Another moment occurs in section three with some transparent word balloons. Either way it is a brief bit that actually adds to the narrative experience and that particular characterization.

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