‘Seduction of the Innocent’ #1 Comic Review
The crime genre was one of the most popular genres of comics out there, only bested by superheroes. Now, thanks to independent publishers like Dynamite, the crime genre is making a massive comeback. Even the title is an easter egg to the golden age of comics. With Seduction of the Innocent, writer/artist Andre Parks and Esteve Polls write a crime drama that hearkens back to those old times.
We follow new FBI agent Thomas Jennings, working his first case in San Francisco. Referred to as ‘Sharpshooter’ more times than not, Jennings is your standard crime protagonist. He has a troubled past, something hinted at throughout the first issue. The main problem, in typical crime fashion: someone’s kidnapping mob bosses, and it’s up to Jennings and his cast of side characters to find out who.
The artwork is a throwback to a more traditional art style but with some really nicely updated colors, thanks to Salvatore Aiala Studios. There are wise choices of color in the first issue, elevating the drama and tone of the comic book. Something would be a severely lacking in the comic without these colors.
The art relies heavily on shadow. In true crime genre fashion, this elevates the tension. It’s not too repetitive, but used just enough to make every panel ooze with drama. The only drawback is the art’s lack of distinctive features. Throughout the first issue, I had a few problems distinguishing between characters. If it wasn’t for their different hairstyles and story, I would have had a much harder time telling the difference.
The comic’s story is set up fairly well in the first issue. The latter half of the issue is jam-packed with suspense and action. The tension by scene’s end was palpable. The mystery really amps up with the last page’s inclusion, making the need to continue reading all the more enticing. The ending definitely brought in an unexpected element to the story. The second issue is definitely a must read to determine if the extra element is warranted.
The only gripe would be the issue’s beginning. With a comic of this genre, it could prove difficult to entice new readers. There needs to be a hook. The first issue’s hook, however, didn’t really grasp me as much as it should have. The comic’s subsequent issues need to be as exciting as the end of the first issues to keep readers, old and new, invested.
Besides a few stumbles, Seduction of the Innocent starts strong. The comic book follows all the typical beats of the crime genre. It features beautiful colors on top of some fairly crafted art. The story really ropes the reader in by the issue’s end. Regardless of the art’s shortcomings and lack of a hook, the first issue is definitely worth a read. Jennings and company don’t know the mystery they’re about to uncover, both about the mysterious vanishings and his haunted past. It’s no doubt Andre Parks and Esteve Polls are taking readers on a ride that’ll be both nostalgic and satisfying.