Best Shots Advance Review: PIGS #1

Cosby and McCool Team Up for PIGS

Pigs #1

Written by Nate Cosby and Ben McCool

Art by Breno Tamura and Chris Sotomayor

Lettering by Rus Wooton

Published by Image Comics

Review by David Pepose

'Rama Rating: 7 out of 10

Pigs #1 ends with one heck of a punch. But even so, it needed to begin with one even more.

Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty of potential for Nate Cosby and Ben McCool's story of espionage and Cold War paranoia kept on ice till the present day. But structurally, there's something missing here — namely, a reason that gets you invested in these characters early on.

While there are a few sharp lines in the book's introduction — namely, an interrogation of the family's leader, only called "Mama" in the script — something was missing. What are the stakes? Jail time? Or in another scene, being caught by authorities? I don't buy it, and even if you do, the resonance doesn't hit you enough to really be afraid. While Cosby and McCool sure know how to write a cliffhanger, the introduction to this dysfunctional family of sleeper agents feels just a touch too sketchy for my tastes, not really elevating the characters past the archetypes of "badass matriarch," "rebellious son," and "seductive sister." I do, however, like the all-business kind of twist Mama brings to the conversation, even taking things as natural as a heart attack as a potential assassination.

Now, the art I did warm up to a bit more. Breno Tamura isn't probably a name you've heard of yet, but he's got that sketchy, rough-hewn quality that'd feel right at home in a Vertigo book like . Tamura excels in the small moments, particularly a shot of Mama's mouth turned in what could be sadness, anger or something altogether sinister. You don't know, and that's actually a good thing. That said, between Tamura and his writers, the action sequences (well, one actual action sequence, and the other being the threat of one) don't quite come together, never really having any one image that comes out and hits you in between the eyes.

Of course, now that the setup is over, there is plenty of room forPigs to grow. If we have an opportunity to really bond with the members of this not-so-normal family — beyond, of course, a death that is so often used it feels obligatory in family dramas — we'll be set. If the actual action bits show some real originality and ingenuity, I have the feeling we could be up for quite the entertaining ride. But — but — the thing is, this first issue have done all that. It could have blasted out of the gate on page one, and considering how much competition Pigs has on the shelf, that wouldn't have hurt.

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