Welcome to Tranquility #1 |
by Gail Simone, Neil Googe (WildStorm, 2006)
Tranquility is a small American town where superheroes -- and a fair number of supervillains -- have gone to retire for a few quiet years with their families. It's a peaceful place, where former arch-foes can sit down for a cup of coffee and a slice of pie in the local diner or chat over the picket fence without pummeling one another into insensibility.
A simple brawl between some elderly former heroes and a band of young toughs with something to prove turns disastrous when one of the heroes -- the elegant and refined Mr. Articulate -- is murdered with the blade of his own sword cane. That leaves the town's sheriff -- a young woman without any powers of her own -- to solve the crime.
The story isn't earthshaking in its originality, but it's a good concept that is exceptionally well executed. Writer Gail Simone has stamped unique, recognizable personalities on a diverse and numerous cast, and it's a real pleasure getting to know them. Neil Googe supplies the art, and it's another strong motivator for reading the book. Slightly cartoony, it suits the tone of the story perfectly -- and his "flashback" comic pages from the heroes' earlier careers are a hoot.
Plus, I figured out the big mystery early on in the book -- and was entirely wrong. I solved it a second time -- and blew it again. That's a good mystery.
13 December 2008
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