Buzzard #1

Although this is branded heavily as spinning out of "The Goon," you don't need to be familiar with that concept to have a go at this one. As a read, the Buzzard part of this comic is quick as a hiccup. Luckily, the art is worthy of second and third glances, perhaps even some relaxed studying.

The history of Buzzard is set up for us rather quickly and effectively within a span of a few pages. From that point, it moves forward, dropping Buzzard into a situation that is quickly resolved through his ruthlessness and cunning. Mistaken for the very visage of death while also celebrated as a savior, Buzzard happens upon some simple folk, some people of the land, who ask for his particular talents to be brought against their oppressor. This, naturally, leads on to the next issue.

Powell's art is bold and non-traditional, as befits a story with such an odd protagonist. There's no shortage of detail, but throughout most of this issue, Powell chooses to forego panel boarders and even conventional backgrounds, choosing instead to collaborate with Dave Stewart in producing ethereal clouds that hang around the edges of the characters and action giving them a dreamlike -- no, nightmare induced -- quality.

Buzzard's story ends right up against "Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities," a story that is much more traditional in page layout and panel composition. Kyle Hotz's art is dark and shadowy, fitting for a mystery that leads to a campsite filled with dead gypsies.

This tale is less inviting to the uninitiated, due to the cast of characters surrounding Billy, but the story still packs a wallop and a chuckle. It's a dark tale of classic misunderstanding made more complicated by language barriers.

This first issue of "Buzzard" is sure to scratch some Goon-type itches for Powell's fans. For those new to Powell's work, this is a decent sample, but it'll only start the Powell-art itches for those newbies. Hopefully we all won't have to wait too long for those collective itches to be scratched.

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