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Johanna Has Hope: Preview of Hope Falls #1

Brian Hibbs

People send me PDFs for review. Here’s my thoughts on one. Bear in mind that I use a laptop, so my screen space is minimal, and by the time I blow up the pages to be able to read the dialogue, I’m looking at individual panels, not full pages. It’s not the most ideal format, but it’s effectively free for both of us.

I’m looking today at Hope Falls #1 from Markosia. It’s due in November, but I suspect that unless you have an excellent comic store, you’re not likely to see it unless you commit to preordering a copy.

It’s written by Tony Lee with art by Dan Boultwood. The plot starts with a home-town girl, gone 20 years, returning home and pondering what’s changed and what hasn’t. It’s only after we begin wondering why she’s so strange that we find out that she was murdered by men who are now town leaders, and she’s back for vengeance.

That’s an intriguing change on the usual setup, especially given the warnings she receives about how much her plans will harm her. In stories of this type, usually it’s the protagonist who’s moved on and grown, but here, she’s the one fixated on the past, and she’s still the same person (physically) she was then.

The art is sharp-edged but simple in the Oeming style. It tells the story well, and the flashback inserts of what happened then are suitably shocking and sudden. The theme, that some choices can’t be apologized for or reversed, is unusual and full of potential.

It’s twisty, so it’s hard to recommend the entire series with confidence, because who knows where it might end up? The writer compares it to “Twin Peaks meets The Crow by way of the Da Vinci Code”, but it strikes me as a layered tale best suited to comics. I admire the protagonist’s determination even as I’m shaking my head that she’s making the wrong choices.

Use code SEP073850 to preorder, or visit hope-falls.com to learn more. It’s a Good read, with the potential to be more once the whole story is revealed.

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