- Posted by Johanna on May 12, 2011 at 10:25 pm
- Category: Indy Comic Reviews
- CREDITS: written by Joe Harris; art by Brett Weldele
- PUBLISHER: Oni Press; $3.99 US
Oni Press has, for the last few years, debuted a new series on Free Comic Book Day. This year’s launch, Spontaneous, is another standout entry. The biggest problem with the book is that readers have to wait two months for issue #2.
Written by Joe Harris and drawn by Brett Weldele (best known for The Surrogates), Spontaneous‘ hook is investigating human combustion. I thought this would be too gross for me, but I found it gripping — I want to know more about these characters, especially “investigative reporter at large” Emily Durshmiller. She’s a modern take on the classic determined young woman searching for the truth, an updated Lois Lane coping with today’s world.
Weldele’s angular, monochrome style adds a sense of remote weirdness to the activities of Emily and Melvin, a young man determined to find out why his father combusted at his childhood birthday party. The two unwillingly pair up, while I was impressed by how well Weldele illustrates their attitudes. His art here is even stronger than his previous work I’ve seen.
The comic is pitched as Melvin’s story, driven by his ability to discover victims (based on his detailed predictive models) and his fear that the same thing that happened to his dad will happen to him. I hope there’s more to it than that, because Harris and Weldele do a great job introducing us to the lives of the victims quickly, and I want to see more of these stories. Although Melvin is pretty creepy on his own, with his seeming pyromania.
Spontaneous #1 did everything a first issue should do — set up an intriguing premise, introduced characters I want to know more about, hinted at potentially enjoyable directions, and provided a cliffhanger that makes me eager for more. If you missed out on this free comic, issue #1 will be on sale in shops on July 13, along with issue #2. In the meantime, here’s a five-page preview.