What did the
Art and cover by CAFU
Size: 32 pages
“Grifter” was one of the new ongoing series to spawn from DC’s New 52 relaunch that I was most excited about. He is a fantastic character and in the right hands he could be a major player in the DC Universe. “Grifter” #1 is written by Nathan Edmondson, better known for his work through Image comics, and it’s every bit a launching point. The story features many of the good things you need when introducing a character but also is handcuffed by some of the same restrictions of an introduction issue. Edmondson doesn’t weigh the book down with exposition serving as backstory. Instead, we’re dropped right into the action and the unfolding mystery. We do get a well timed and nicely written “earlier” sequence which answers a few important questions. Then the story transitions back before ending with a satisfying final page that’s made cool by it’s character’s new direction instead of a shocking or jarring cliffhanger. My only disappointment is we only see Grifter’s mask in one panel and, contrary to the cover, we don’t see Grifter in full gear with guns blazing. This isn’t a big deal since we know it’s coming. It’s more of a consequence from being an introduction issue.
The art in this issue caught my attention from the very first page. Cafu’s pencils really develop a sharp and realistic world. His art has a slick and polished look to it and he seems to have a good eye for detail. I was also thoroughly impressed with his characters, especially with the look of Cole. He does a great job capturing and relaying the emotions of his characters in numerous panels. There’s not a lot of action in the issue but what’s there is really brought to life on the pages. The fights have a brutal edge to them and they look and feel real. This is never more evident than in the breathtaking title splash page. This is a great looking book.
When I first read “Grifter” #1 I was a little unsure on how I felt about it. But I immediately gave it another read and had a much better feel for what Edmondson is doing. I was really hoping for some masked Grifter, two pistols blazing, styled action but instead this is a carefully crafted first issue with clearly bigger things in mind. I can certainly respect that and I’m really excited about where this character is going. Funny side note, Edmondson’s name is spelled two different ways. On way on the front cover and another way on the title page. OOPS!
Art: 4 - Very Good