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Misfit City #1 Review

A group of ladies in a familiar Pacific Northwest town made famous by a familiar movie find a treasure map that could be the answer to saving their town. Is it good?

Misfit City #1
Writer: Kurt Lustgarten, Kiwi Smith
Artist: Naomi Franquiz
Publisher: BOOM! Box

Cannon Cove, Oregon is a sleepy town, except when rowdy groups of tourists come through. You seee, Cannon Cove is famous (despite how the residents may feel about it) for being the setting of an incredibly famous movie, the Gloomies. The title comes from a real phenomenon – the cove fills with fog most of the year, which can cause depression or as locals put it, a case of the Gloomies.

A group of local girls are a good example of this: Wilder, who works at the local coffee shop, is trying to save the Cove from pollution. Macy runs the local film museum, trying to educate tourists on local history beyond the movie and promoting her band. Dot is stuck shucking oysters between getting a degree. Karma is fighting to keep up everyone’s spirits in the face of bad attitudes. And Ed is fine taking advantage of tourists to make a few bucks. All them are stuck in Cannon Cove, but all are looking for a way out.

So when a local oddball passes away and leaves a trunk full of mysterious piratey items, including a ancient map, to the museum, Wilder is convinced the map could lead not only to treasure, but a way to improve the town.

Is It Good?

There is a lot of danger for first time comic writers. It’s not easy to move from different mediums, but I was relieved to see that this team did a great job out of the gate. The dialog is genuine and flows nicely, they manage to give us background and story without clunkiness, and each character is dimensional and unique. I think it helps that both writers come from film, and this book definitely has a cinematic feel to it. There are some great funny moments, too; the poker game with the dog was hilarious.

The trick is going to be making Misfit City more than a retelling of the Goonies with a group of girls instead of guys. Right now, there are a lot of small details that match up, like Wilder is the Mikey of the group, and her mom is a cop just like Mikey’s dad. But overall, the characters are their own people, it’s not matching one to one. I do have a couple of nitpicks: Karma’s a little on the nose as the sweet, spiritual member of the group, and since we have a cast of 5 ladies, we only got introductions to 4 and fairly shallow at that. Hopefully we’ll see more of their personalities as the arc unfolds.

Overall, the art is strong. I really like the character designs – each girl looks unique and has lots of great details. The action is clear and the panel layouts work with the story. My one nitpick is that the color is on the dark side, with lots of muted tones, even with the pops of color. I’ll be interested to see if things start to pop more once the adventure gets going.

Misfit City #1 Review
Great dialog and structure; the plot is unfolding nicely
Excellent character design
Fun idea and premise
The colors are a little muddy
Didn't get intros to all the characters yet

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