Review: The Owl #1
Fear the shadows, the Owl has returned! Lost for 50 years in an ethereal limbo, the Owl has come back to find a violent and desperate world of strangers. The woman he loved is gone, but he remains determined to continue his fight for justice. Can the Owl withstand the challenges awaiting him… or will this new reality crush his body and spirit?
Dynamite brings back The Owl in a new four-part miniseries kicking off this week. The story is written by J.T. Krul with art by Heubert Khan Michael, Vinicius Andrade provides colors, and Simon Bowland tackles lettering. The last time we saw The Owl was in Project Superpowers. Is the new miniseries a triumphant return or should The Owl have stayed gone a little longer?
Nick Terry was a police detective who became a vigilante so he could do even more to protect his city, Yorktown. He, like many other pulp heroes of the 40s, didn’t have any superpowers. He relied on his fighting skills and some gadgets like Owl Bombs and his Owl Roadster. During his time as a hero, Terry partnered up with other heroes to fight evils greater than he could face alone. One mission ended up with him and other heroes being captured in Pandora’s Urn. 50 years later he was released to a world vastly different than the one he left behind. Nick Terry keeps on being The Owl so he can still protect Yorktown, but as Nick Terry he has to try and build a new life and figure out what he will do in a world without his beloved Belle. He tries to become a cop again, but the economy and ensuing budget cuts leave him having to look for work elsewhere. There seems to be nothing out there for him other than his work as The Owl. When trying to stop two rival gangs from starting a turf war, a mysterious new costumed woman appears on the scene. Who is the lady dressed a lot like Owl Girl? Is Nick as alone as he thought he was?
Krul writes an interesting first issue. With this being a first issue in a four-part series, he has to do a lot of heavy lifting with the story to get things moving so he can unveil the bigger story driving the series. He sets up Nick Terry well and gives us an idea of what has happened since the events of Project Superpowers. It will really help if you’ve read that particular event, but it’s not necessary to still understand what Krul is doing. Heubert Kham Michael does an apt job with the art and Andrade does good work with the majority of colors. The opening page with the flashback comic style art is fantastic. There are a few pages in the rest of the story where things appear way too slick, bright and plastic however.
Bottom Line: The Owl starts out well and starts to seed some interesting ideas. The Owl is a worthy entry in Dynamite’s ever expanding world of new pulp stories. Krul offers up a satisfactory story and the art is good overall, but there isn’t a real big punch just yet. 3/5
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