“The Comet- Vol. 1: Combustion” – G.I. Gary Comic Reviews
Vol 1: Combustion
Publisher: Insight Comics
Written by: Arianna Irwin
Illustrated by: Francine Delgado
Colored by: Alba Cardona and Federico Blee
The story of “The Comet” follows Kenzie, a 17 year old high school gymnast, whose sister Rae is dying of cancer. Kenzie is struggling to make peace with her sister’s fate, and refuses to accept defeat. In deseperation to save Rae, Kenzie approaches her aunt, a channel in whom a demon flows. This demon has healed people before, but at a hefty price. Kenzie surmizes she can relinquish her soul to save Rae. No one likes this plan, especially Jeremy, a friend of Kenzie and Rae’s, but he reluctantly acquiesces to Kenzie’s headstrong attitude.
So Kenzie’s Aunt goes to perform the ceremony to heal Rae and that is where things go wrong, culminating in an explosion in the hospital, and leaving Kenzie with newfound powers. In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, Kenzie runs away, looking to hide with a colleague of her father’s, a Dr. Engle. From there, he helps Kenzie learn to use her abilities and protect herself and others, culminating in a final battle against her aunt’s “master.”
“The Comet” is presented as a graphic novel and there are times in the story where Irwin’s story flows clumsily, as if it was originally paced as a 22 page monthly comic. Sometimes events occur too quickly, or there is a shift in scenes that is rather abrupt. There are also revelations that occur in the body that do not get addressed, leaving threads dangling. In a monthly book, the break in issues often serve as a pallet cleanser. With the extra pages of a graphic novel, a “Chekov’s gun” is rather noticeable, and hangs over the rest of the plot. What Irwin does address, happens quickly, as to keep the fast pace of an action comic. I felt there were lost opportunities for the story to explore character growth, especially with the format of this book.
Francine Delgado’s art adds polish to Irwin’s script with a modern animation style. Exaggerated eyes lead to expressive faces, and the heavy inked lines give the book an appropriate teen feel for the characters and the audience. Her layouts flow well and continue the kinetic flow. They are nicely punctuated with dynamic splash panels that place emphasis to the scenes and make it easy and pleasant to read. And I would be remiss not to mention the cover. It is definitely catches my eye and want to open the book. The colors by Alba Cardona and Federico Blee seem to be primarily by marker and sometimes has a watercolor feel. They add to Delgado’s art adding depth and tone and getting the moods of the scenes right.
“The Comet” is Irwin’s first published comic work. I felt she has plotting of the story down and definitely has characters that are distinct from one another. It may have been an editing decision, but injecting a little more drama into the story could serve well in making the characters more grounded and likable. Kenzie is a young character and I just feel she still needs to grow as a person before she can become a leading lady such as Marvel’s Carol Danvers or Jessica Jones. As such, it is an incredibly strong first effort and shows her promise as an up and coming writer. I must admit I did enjoy how she came up with the origin of Kenzie’s superhero name as it felt fully organic to the story.
Overall, I wouldn’t mind reading the second volume of the story to see what happens next. There was enough there to pique my interest and keep me entertained me as I read the pages. I also look forward to seeing how Irwin and Delgado grow from this effort. However, I think a different editorial hand could have helped with the flow of the book as a whole. With all that being said, I have to rate “The Comet” a 3 out of a 6 pack.
Until next time!
“The Comet” review copy was provided free by insightcomics.com