"The Devil You Know" - Part 1 of 5
Writer: John Layman
Artist: Joe Eisma
Colorist: Celeste Woods
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Cover Artists: David Finch, Jimmy Reyes & Triona Farrell (Cover A), Joe Eisma (Cover B & C)
Editors: Matt Idelson and Kevin Ketner
"Bosley, do you still have that friend who works at the zoo?"
There are comics you never know that you want to read until you read them and then you're wondering where they've been all your life. CHARLIE'S ANGELS scratches that itch for fun 70's action that I didn't realize I was missing in my life. Part of me wanted to dismiss this series just because it was an television series from my childhood being written as a comic, but Dynamite put together this creative team and I'm standing here wondering why I ever had my doubts.
Dynamite Entertainment has proven time and time again that they can take licensed properties, find a strong creative team, and provide a solid comic book that takes what that property was known for in it's original format and breathes new life into it for everyone to enjoy. CHARLIE'S ANGELS #1 is a perfect example of this and an example fans of the television series, and comics in general, should check out. John Layman is a great choice to come in and write this series. He's worked on a number of licensed properties with Dynamite in the past like XENA and ARMY OF DARKNESS and has a number of fan favorite books like his own CHEW.
This issue's story feels as if it could have been an episode of the television series, but never feels dated or adapted from something else. The dialogue is quick and funny. Layman gives the characters moments to shine on their own, as well as together, and provides individuality for all of the Angels. What is great about this issue is that Layman creates an episodic story that plays into a larger story arc and it feels organic.
The art provided by Joe Eisma and Celeste Woods is very good. Eisma's clean art style feels like it was made to illustrate this series from the word "go". There's a life that Eisma gives each character on page that never feels static. He never seems to hide from an opportunity to allow the characters to express their dialogue in their facial features as well as body language. In an interview with PreviewsWorld.com, Eisma said, "Visually, my goal is to portray the Angels as strong and powerful, with the confidence and toughness to handle any dangerous situation. Each of them has their own specialty that they bring to the team, and I plan to define that through their body language and personalities. I'm also looking forward to drawing their snazzy 70s attire!" He hits all of that in this issue, and it's a joy to see on page.
Add on top of Eisma's illustrations with Celeste Woods' colors - Wow! Woods works with a palette of colors that gives each panel a very animated feel that plays into Eisma's art style and helps pop the scenes off the page. There's a sequence ouside and at night that Woods doesn't lean on a lot of blacks but uses a lot of blues and it really helps define the characters in each panel without looking like each of them have direct light pouring on to them from unnatural places in the scene.
Taylor Esposito's lettering is top notch throughout the issue. The use of onomatopoeia during the action sequences is great. There's a chance that they'd feel campy in a series like that, but Esposito creates impactful sounds that do the job and get out of the way. Layman provides a dialogue heavy first issue and Esposito takes it on with no problem slicing the word ballonos around the panels and the art like a skilled Benihana chef.
CHARLIE'S ANGELS #1 is simply a fun and entertaining comic book that knows what it is and embraces all that comes with it. This open story arc is five issues and if this first issue is any indication - this series is going to be amazing!