Writer: Jay Faerber
Artist: Jon Bosco (p), Ron Riley (i & colors)
Publisher: Image Comics
The nice thing about this issue is that, as a new reader, I was able to jump right in and understand pretty much everything that was going on. I didnít know who the characters were or what their relationships were to each other, but I was able to discern that from the writing. Itís great to see a comic that obviously subscribes to the idea that new readers should generally be able to jump on at any given time.
Briefly, Noble Causes is about the Nobles, a family in which many of its members have superpowers. In this issue, Rusty Nobleís frustrations and anger (resulting from something harmful that a man did to the Noble family) escalate to a point that may lead to Rustyís undoing. There are a lot of nice little character moments, revealing a good amount about almost every character in a short amount of space. In many ways, the storyline and the characterization are reminiscent of a soap opera, only with a superhero bent. The quality of storytelling, however, is better than most soap operas, resulting in more drama and much better characterization.
The pacing is also very good, maintaining a good amount of action while not losing track of the more subtle emotional aspects of the story. The pacing actually feels quite a bit like a good film, taking us in and out of scenes with skill; but it doesnít happen so quickly that we lose track of different plot points or become confused. Itís smooth and fluid, and it helps the story progress.
My one real complaint with this issue is this: When I read a new comic, I look at the beginning of the issue for some kind of character bio or background on the story to help me catch up. A lot less comics provide this than I would like, and Noble Causes #23 seemed to be no exception. Fortunately, because of the skillful writing, I was able to follow along just fine. But when I finished the issue, I saw that character bio I had looked for at the beginning was on the inside back cover. I canít understand why this was placed at the end of the comic. It makes no sense to me at all. Once Iíve read the issue, why do I need a briefing of the characters and their history? It may clear up a few things for a new reader, but wouldnít it clarify a whole lot more if it was located at the beginning of the issue?
The art is sometimes a bit awkward, but overall I liked it quite a bit. It has an animated feel, which I think is appropriate for this title, while still displaying a lot of emotion and action. The colors are even more enjoyable; I liked the fact that at times, the colors call attention to themselves without overshadowing the story or the pencils.
I will probably pick up Noble Causes again in the future; Iím not sure if I enjoyed it enough to pay $3.50 each month (granted, itís only about 50 cents more than your typical comic, but itís the principle of the thing). I will probably pick up a few issues here and there to see whatís happening with the story, though; and hereís hoping they move that character bio to the beginning of the comic for other new readers!
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