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Joy Operations #1

by Steven Leitman 3 days ago in comics

Dark Horse Comics

Joy Operations #1

Dark Horse Comics 2021

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrated by Stephen Byrne

Lettered by Joshua Reed

Fifty-five years from now. Joy is an EN·VOI. A special agent of one of the JONANDO TRUST. Trusts are corporate-owned cities that are the centerpiece of modern society. She rights wrongs for the trust. She is excellent. Perfection. Hard on herself. Driven. Almost legendary in some parts. Until one day a voice pops in her head trying to get her to betray everything she has ever believed.

Alright well colour me intrigued. I like the idea of the EN-VOI and what Joy stands for as well as how we see that regardless of when the story takes place that human nature will somehow always remain the same. I have to admit this is told pretty brilliantly and the way that we see things happening really took me on a journey and the surprise reveal that comes really threw me for a loop. I love that too because anytime you can make me think one thing is happening and pull a switcheroo of this magnitude and completely fool me and the way I’ve been seeing things shows a mind of someone that I am thrilled to be following.

I’m very much enjoying the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceptionally well. The character development that we see through the narration, the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does a magnificent job in establishing their personalities. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages introducing the characters, the world they live in and the story at hand it creates that buzz, that interest in the reader that makes them want to know more.

I’m pretty darn impressed with the way that we see this being structured and how the layers within the story begin to emerge and grow. I also like the way that we see these layers opening up avenues to be explored. Whether that’s the main one or any of the side ones that we learn about they all add this great depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward are impeccably handled.

There is something about the interiors here that I really like. I think a part of it is that it reminds me of the old Batman Beyond cartoon in how we see the city and its technology. That two-page spread right off the bat really paints the vision for this city and this era so beautifully well. I like that this has a traditional comic book style feel to the work and doesn’t try to be too fancy or too simple and instead it feels like it welcomes us. I adore the faces and facial expressions that we are seeing as well and they really do wonders in furthering the characterisation. How backgrounds are used as they enhance and expand the moments as well as how they work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is well rendered. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a very talented eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and colour work shows a strong eye for how colour works.

There is just enough given to pull the reader in and wet the appetite for more. What we see and learn is kind of like a tease and we don’t fully understand the reasoning behind Joy’s actions at the end but that’s a huge part of the draw for me here because now I want to know and understand why. Bendis pulls out the stops with the writing and the characterisation here and the interiors here create that future we’ve always seen or dreamed of when it comes to science fiction.


Steven Leitman

Just me talking about the comics I enjoy reading, ones that you might not know exist and spotlighting the indie creators that excite me.

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