Writer: Justin Richards
Artist: Val Halvorson
Colorist: Rebecca Nalty
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Publisher: Vault Comics
Let’s not waste words. Finger Guns #1 is a mesmerizing and potent story delivered in an overly minimalistic way that betrays just how complex it really is.
It’s nominal nature by design, though, and the creative team absolutely nails it. Not everything has to be narration boxes and exposition bombs. In fact, there’s a little too much of that these days, and Finger Guns delightfully bucks the trend.
Finger Guns follows Wes, a 13-year-old, bored high school student who very quickly discovers he has the power to make people angry when he poses his left hand like a gun and “shoots” them with two fingers. He crosses paths with Sadie who can shoot a calming power from her right hand. That isn’t the hook of the story, though. How these two interact and the small dialogue details that reveal their individual struggles is what really drives this comicbook. Each of them is dealing with a common but difficult situation that’s accentuated by a particularly gut wrenching development at the end.
Written by Justin Richards with art by Val Halvorson, Finger Guns is ultimately a tale about feeling powerless in a powerful world and then trying to shape your reality through control. The story is brief and streamlined, but it never feels rushed or cheap. The bullet-point style storytelling that Finger Guns employs is always a risky move when dealing with fragile subjects, but here it pays off handsomely. The pacing rolls at breakneck speed, but that’s by design, and it works incredibly well, because anything more would be superfluous. The story arrives at the appropriate moments exactly when it should, and whatever you’re left wondering is soon forgotten about because you realize the details that were omitted never mattered in the first place. With Finger Guns, Richards has crafted a compelling and complex story that’s sure to take one or two tragic turns. It’s deeper than you realize, and each uncomplicated choice serves the larger purpose of highlighting the heavy aspects of both the characters and what having their finger powers mean.
Paired absolutely perfectly with Richards’s story and dialogue is Halvorson’s art. Finger Guns is beautiful. It’s a calm but gorgeous book that shines through its simplicity and has perfected an infectious accessibility. Not only that, the covers are also stunning and elicit a psychedelic warped reality vibe that the book piggybacks off of in a very satisfying way.
This is comic storytelling at it’s finest. Finger Guns is an easy entry packaged in a clean box that contains challenging materials. Everything about Finger Guns feels fresh and new. It’s an invigorating comicbook in a medium that’s increasingly missing that.