Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Comic Book Review: Pearl

Alright. So here's the problem with Pearl. How many different ways can the same story rooted in The Professional, Hanna, or Lucy be told? Seemingly normal girl finds out she has "unique" abilities (ie. she's a sharpshooter, knife expert, higher sensibilities, or some sort of super-human strength) and gets caught in a war between two different factions. Well, Brian Michael Bendis and  Michael Gaydos have dreamed up another way with their new DC series Pearl.

Pearl #1 begins the story of an exceptional tattoo artist and accidental assassin for one of the modern-day San Francisco Yakuza. She was born into one life, but another is calling to her. When Pearl accidentally meets one of her peers, her doppelgänger from another clan, she starts to dream of a better life. But Pearl has a very special ability that keeps pulling her back into the violent world she is desperate to escape.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not insinuating that Bendis and Gaydos don't have the writing or artistic chops to pull off this type of action thriller with Pearl. It's just going to be a little tougher to sell to folks who are worn out on the familiar concept presented here. The artwork and coloring is unique, although I think it might turn some readers off who like their comics to look a bit more conventional. Those who enjoy something different will appreciate it, however.

Pearl is for mature readers and contains profanity, violence, and mildly graphic sexual innuendos. None of it really pushes the story forward and is unnecessary. I'm rather surprised this didn't end up published through Vertigo, where it would have fit in better with DC's more adult-oriented titles.

Brian Michael Bendis wrote Pearl #1. Artwork was provided by Michael Gaydos. It is 32 pages long and was released on August 15th.