7 Warriors #1 (Boom! Studios)
by Michael Le Galli & Francis Manapul
Judging from the information in the indicia, this appears to an English translation of a French language comics originally published in 2008. Of course, the reason why this project is making its way to North American audiences now is clear: the comic is illustrated by Francis Manapul, an artist who’s risen in popularity in the industry thanks to his well-received work on both the current and previous incarnations of DC’s Flash title. Unfortunately, those hoping to find the sort of unique, novel visual storytelling the artist has been offering up as of late will be disappointed with what they find here. Manapul’s work on 7 Warriors is nicely detailed, but ultimately, it’s rendered in a conventional style that failed to hold my interest. His current style is almost unrecognizable here. Furthermore, the script calls for some gratuitous nudity that adds little to the story — clearly meant to titillate rather than offer any real insight into the culture of the warrior women from which this three-issue mini-series derives its title.
Le Galli’s story is properly constructed in some regards. He introduces the cast of characters fairly clearly, and the Indiana Jones-esque tunnel of booby traps makes for some fun reading. But ultimately, the historical setting and warrior ways of the protagonists — the elements that serve as the foundation of the story — are alienating. There’s nothing in the story with which to connect. I found the first act failed in its goal to convey the politics of war that serve as the catalyst for the plot, and that sense of confusion never faded. Furthermore, considering the moody adventure that serves as the focus of the third arc in this episode, the story and characters seem to take themselves too seriously. There’s no sense of wonder or excitement to be felt. 4/10