Writer: Michael Penick and Dean Deckard
Illustrator and Letterer: Michael Penick
Colorist: Michael Penick (pgs. 1-11) and John Rauch (pgs. 12 -24)
Publisher: Lux Comics
WHAT IS IT?
The opening issue of this 4-part miniseries that takes all the cool and charisma of an action spy thriller, but adds a new dimension by presenting a protagonist with a unique perspective on the profession of corporate thievery.
Taking all the sleek characteristics of Catwoman and adding Mission: Impossible-style action.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Mia Raven runs the eponymous Recovery Incorporated, a company that recovers stolen items that regular authorities can’t or won’t. Business is good, and she’s the best around. Yet as a professional thief, Mia has become somewhat disenfranchised with her profession. When an operation in Hong Kong doesn’t quite go as planned, she returns to New York a little distracted. Her personal life begins to seep in, and her past starts to catch up with her.
When the next big pay-day comes along, she must pull out all the stops for her client, but something bigger may be at play here. Will she pull off the heist of a lifetime?
For writing partners Michael Penick and Dean Deckard, Recovery Incorporated is a labour of love, and you can see the joy of a project that was shelved in 2012 coming back to life.
Because Michael Penick is also the illustrator, he knows exactly how to present each panel. One area in particular that stood was facial expressions. He captures a lot more emotional complexity which in turn gives the whole panel depth.
Also dealing jointly with colour duties, both Penick and John Rauch do extremely well. Flashbacks have a sepia filter over them that clearly introduces the change in scene and makes it clear to the reader what is happening.
Rauch handles a scene in the latter half of a comic set in a nightclub which immediately goes to the morning after. This sequence in particular stood out to me for the exquisite pairing of diametric colours for contrasting settings.
Lastly, Penick also handles lettering duties, so you can forgive him if the lettering is quite uniform. There are a few stylistic deviations though; one such example is when two characters speak in a plane which was depicted brilliantly.
Flashbacks, foreshadowing and other literary devices are seamlessly presented.
Mia Raven is a great character, striking that balance between femme fatale and secret agent that gives her a more three-dimensional personality that never relies on her sexuality to drive the plot.
The dialogue is varied from honest internal thoughts to corporate meetings, all of which are handled well.
There are a few really standout panels visually. Nothing that breaks the realms of imagination, but absolutely solid sequences that are a joy to read.
The panel placement and size dictate the pace of the comic better than anything else. At no point do you lose your place on the page, even on pages with little dialogue.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
The vagueness about the item Mia is to receive makes it harder to care about the success of the heist. We are told of its great value to the client, but not why it should matter to us the readers.
Some pages are text-heavy. While it probably couldn’t be helped, those pages momentarily drag down the pace of the comic.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Come for the spy thriller vibes, stay for Mia Raven. A bona fide star in the making and her debut outing shows she could go toe-to-toe with anyone. Beautifully illustrated and paced to perfection, Recovery Incorporated has all the charm and guts fans could want.
It always pains me to hear about shelved projects. Especially when they finally emerge and show themselves to be this good. But with a successful first Kickstarter campaign in the bag, and the promise of 3 more issues on the horizon, it seems Recovery Inc. doesn’t need to worry about that ever again.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Unfortunately, this is a Kickstarter exclusive for the time being. And with the first campaign over, you just need to wait until the next one to get your hands on it!
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