How many comics are on the shelves (hell, novels too) that have a super secret spy as a main character? If you counted, I’m sure of the 7 billion humans on Earth at least 500 million are spies. So what is yet one more spy comic? Is it good?
Butterfly #1 (BOOM! Studios)
This comic has a very unique and striking art style by Marguerite Bennett. The layouts are very simple and contained. Six even squares per page, but when the action hits so does the chaos of the layout which hammers home the silent power held by a spy. They have to be secretive, cunning and calm under pressure, which is perfectly portrayed with the art here. The art reminds me of Jeff Lemire, only a lot less weird and a bit more controlled. Maybe it’s the ink work, or the simplicity of the pages, but it works nicely.
Art works great!
Behind this great art is great writing by Arash Amel. Told mostly through first person narration, we learn the set of skills our heroine has for every project and slowly learn what they are through the art. It’s a layer, a layer we’ve seen over and over with spy books, but it helps solidify the character’s focus on being good at what she does. Another layer is the relationship she had with her now deceased father. It’s clear he was very important to her and lingers in her mind always. This goes a long way to capping off a payoff later in the book that I won’t ruin, but it works masterfully because Amel knows how to pace out the information.
Why does this remind me of Taken?
Is It Good?
In a lot of ways this comic is like a really good song: It’s not wholly discernible out of the gate, but after giving it a moment and let it flow over you the work speaks to you. The art is subdued, yet, much like the overall work, it’s striking.