Writer: Pat Shand
Artist: Renzo Rodriguez
Colorist: Mara Jayne Carpenter
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Review by Cory Webber
Breathless #1 is being billed as Buffy the Vampire Slayer where the villains are big pharma. Even if that little blurb doesn’t grab you, you may still want to give this book a shot. It centers around Scout Turner, a crypto-zoologist, examining and cataloguing supernatural creatures for scientific purposes. When she discovers the cure for asthma in the venom of a new breed of monster, she quickly finds herself on the run from Kenilworth Pharmaceuticals and the monsters that they’ve hired to kill her.
Finally, a story about one of the greatest villains this world has ever seen: big pharma.
Shand does a nice job in Breathless #1 of setting up the story moving forward . There are plenty of solid character moments, witty dialogue exchanges and world building. I personally enjoyed the characterizations and relationship of Scout and her elderly aunt.
The art in this book is hit or miss for me. First, the overall composition is fairly bland. Some panels have minimal detail, which make them look like they were brought over from some generic clip art portfolio. For instance, there was a close up look at Scout’s heart and lungs that could have greatly benefited from a little bit more realistic, detailed art. After all, this is a book with a tinge of sci-fi horror.
However, not all is lost. The more minimal approach was offset somewhat by the solid color work and inspired character designs. Each character we meet has their own unique voice and easily distinguishable designs.
Now, one of the stronger points of Breathless #1 is the pacing. The story flows well enough together from page to page. There didn’t seem to be any lulls in the story, or any unnecessary moments. The only distraction, at times, was the seemingly generic art.
Verdict: Wait and see.
A solid foundation for the long-term story has been laid in Breathless #1; however, the cookie cutter clip art did not mesh with the gritty horror plot. I may check out the next issue or two to see if the writing encourages me enough to overlook the bland art.