From R Squared Comics comes Yva Starling: Troubleshooter about a space traveler who has earned a nice living off of taking jobs using her skills as a fighter and her sharp wit.
Yva Starling: Troubleshooter #1
Yva is traveling to her next job on the planet Grampus. Here, she finds a particularly interesting, if not outdated, social system where people are born, and die, in the same class. At the top, she finds the most powerful businessmen in the galaxy. In the neglected and forgotten sub levels, the streets are ruled by gangs and criminals. Believing she is here to use her typical skill set, she’s surprised to find she’s being paid to simply take a powerful Industry Lord’s daughter shopping for her 16th birthday. Despite her best to keep the teenager from being too obviously exuberant in public that would draw attention to her, Yva is talked into going into the lower levels where the duo is attacked by a gang hoping to ransom the lord’s daughter off for riches.
This is definitely a fun little story. It’s too often in independent comics that a lead female character is given all sorts of skills and tough demeanor, but comes off thin. Creators might play this off as “more realistic” as a character like this would possibly be more shut off and refuse to show her feelings in exchange of just being tough and bad ass. They may also tell you that you’d learn more about her over time, more time than we would care to wait around for, in hopes to build a character around situations just to showcase more of her bad ass skills.
This story has a different feel. Writer Brian S. Roe and artist Ryan Howe don’t simply rest on her being overly sexy or over the top tough. What I like about this first issue is that, yes, we can see her skills as she thinks back on previous missions and showing off some of her fighting skills, but the bulk of the story is spent with her just being a normal woman. She’s not a stone wall to the young Megdaline as they spend the day together. We’re given a lot of exposition about what she can do, but we’re given the opposite. By the time you get closer to the end of the story, you do get to see her in action, but it’s never something that takes over the story. Instead of feeling cheated or teased about her being an action star, we’re surprised by a little bit deeper and more entertaining story featuring a much more down to earth type of person. She might be tough, and she might be pretty, but Yva definitely avoids the trappings of the typical “comic book action starlet”. It’s really refreshing.
Now, another great benefit that did nothing but help Roe and Howe is the original web format that allows them to tell a story that’s nearly thirty pages long. As an introduction, we get a little bit of everything. As mentioned before, we sure get a lot of Yva doing her thing as both an action star and a normal person in a nice balance, but they also take time to give us a feel for this futuristic era. Will we get to see more of everything down the line? I’m sure we will, but for starters, we’re given enough of what we need to draw us in.
As this series continues to evolve from web comic to print comic, I could see this finding a nice niche audience who won’t have to hide it at the bottom of their stack because the cover is nothing but big guns and big tits. Upon first impressions, I’d say Roe and Howe have something they can be proud of.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Well balanced story and nice exposition of the setting from writer Roe. Howe and colorist Ronda Pattison gives a nice, vibrant and fun look to the story.||Very little to say negative. It’s a good start to something I’d like to see grow.|