Review: Agent Sparx #1
Written by: Michael Kelley
Art & Colours: BNA VP
Publisher: AIC Comics
I’m writing this on International Women’s Day. Today I wrote a gushing post about my amazing wife, read about an array of astonishing women in history who are normally lumped at the back of the shelf, and commiserated with an incredibly able female interviewee who lost out to a guy that clearly winged it, at my place of work. So, role on evening and I’m facing the prospect of reviewing Agent Sparx #1 from American in China Comics, an ex-pat outfit that have been knocking out crossover-appeal books for the last few years. In this inaugural issue, we find an alien planet inhabited by the Glitterites, who have been infiltrated by a ruthless gang of jewel thieves from the planet Shin-Gan, and lead by the deadly Hewa. It all sounds promising enough but the execution won’t be to everyone’s taste. So, shall we dive in?
With a classic jewellery heist plot, you would assume a dual narrative would make the most of the caper from the perspectives of both the cops and the criminals. Here, there’s a heavy focus on building the profile of our protagonists in their day-today lives, which mainly consists of bounding around in skimpy leotards and crop-tops. The dialogue is loose and gossipy in style with strands of strained relationships between the lady detectives, which I’m sure this will come into play in a later issue. The dialogue between the thieves also falls into this style though to a lesser degree. The effect of all this loose chat is the book feels geared towards a younger audience but the heaving imprints of boobies bursting through thin t-shirts suggests a slightly different readership. The plot does take off with the onset of the jewellery shop raids and the action is both exciting and fresh. Look out for Hewa’s special move. By the end of the book, we are left pondering the actual motives for the robberies which does add a welcome new layer to the plot. This should tease just enough to draw readers into issue two.
Artwise, an airbrushed look to the book leaves a hazy, Summery feel which matches the action and content. Though the line work is quite fine, the overall look isn’t ultra realistic and still looks quite caroony. Oversized, wide eyes very much feels like a nod the far- Eastern readers and this might also explain the lack of clothing. Backgrounds are usually hazy with light detail but on occasion, we lose it altogether and the colouring reverts to a due that blends the background into the colour palate in play in that particular frame. Personally, I found the lack of detail left the frame feel unfinished or empty but doesn’t always take away from the sequence. My major gripe is with the skimpy clothing; it was unnecessary and felt like it was geared towards a very particular reader. I feel we should be past all that sort of thing by now so it wasn’t for me.
All-in-all, a fun little issue for people into Eastern influenced books but felt outdated and a bit pervy. Give it a go and see what you think.
Skully’s Corner: Why buy this book? I love a god heist. It reminds me of my days as an Eastend gangster in London. Saying that, I wore a bit more than this lot do, I don’t think I’ve got the body for it now though…4/10.
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Review written by Arun Sharma.
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