REVIEW: ‘Buckhead,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Buckhead #1 - But Why Tho

Buckhead #1 is the start of a new BOOM! Box imprint comic for younger readers from BOOM! Studios, written by Shobo with art by George Kambadais and letters by Jim Campbell. As strangers in a strange town where strange things are happening and strange things happened to their parents, a group of kids soon uncover a strange but awesome virtual reality video game they can play in the bowels of their school. Only, it seems like Toba’s missing father might actually be inside the video game.

I always say there are two things I look for in the first issue of a new comic in order to judge it: are the characters interesting, or is the story intriguing? Unfortunately, the former is lackluster in Buckhead #1. Everyone in the book is rather forgettable. They’re not unlikeable or anything; they just possess no real defining qualities yet. However, the video game-loving little kid in me is definitely perfectly targeted by this plot. It is a bit hard to follow. I can’t deny that. The cold open is a flashback to events completely unrelated to what happens later on and never clearly define what its relation to the rest of the story is. It’s all inferences and possibly confusing for a younger reader. But two elements make me forget that I wasn’t sure what was happening or what the characters’ names were.

First, there’s something very strange going on in Buckhead. People have strange tattoos, are mysteriously frozen in place from time to time, and entire creepy houses are invisible to everyone but Toba. This is an instant recipe for intrigue. Second, there’s a Jumanji-esque virtual reality video game involved. While I don’t feel like I’ve seen enough of either to truly judge their coolness, my interest is certainly piqued enough to drive me towards trying out a second issue. I only wish the characters made a more substantial impact too.

Artistically, Buckhead #1 offers a simple, somewhat blocky style. It’s not unpleasant, but at times indistinct in its oversimplicity. The style definitely screamed middle-grade, which extends to its frequently empty backgrounds. There’s a lot of swatch work that fills in some detail, sometimes more subtly than others. Some scenes in the rain toward the end look pretty cool artistically, but otherwise, much of it feels low-budget and rushed. The colors are generally stark and typically monochrome on a single page but frequently change throughout the book, which I appreciate in helping keep it varied. The lettering is very befitting a story centering on a video game but doesn’t feel too over-stylized to the point of being illegible.

Buckhead #1 is not an especially strong start to the series, with forgettable characters and a somewhat confusing plot. But it does offer some pretty cool possibilities that warrant a look at later issues to come or possibly the finished volume to help get a more coherent story all at once.

Buckhead #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Buckhead #1
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TL;DR

Buckhead #1 is not an especially strong start to the series, with forgettable characters and a somewhat confusing plot. But it does offer some pretty cool possibilities that warrant a look at later issues to come or possibly the finished volume to help get a more coherent story all at once.

But Why Tho? A Geek Community
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