"Father's Day" #1 is solid. Mike Richardson and Gabriel Guzman have teamed to make a comic that reads like a film pitch. The pacing is perfect and the action is well-illustrated. Some of the dialogue felt a little flourished but didn't detract from the story. It wraps with a twist that will have to have some justification in the next issue to synch up some character choices but overall it's an enjoyable read.
In a quaint mountain cabin overlooking the ocean a man is punched in the stomach on the front porch of his own home by his daughter Denise. It sounds like the opening to an Irish poem but it's our opening scene. Before she can get answers about why dad walked out on the family, our protagonist -- his name is never given in the book, but I'm hoping it turns out to be Father Day -- ushers her out of the house before the mafia close in and blow the place sky high. After escaping they encounter the mafia enforcers again in a diner, where where the made men pull out machetes which I don't think are on the menu. They get taken out but not how you'd think, and that's where the cliffhanger comes in.
This book is noteworthy particularly because it's written by the publisher of Dark Horse. It's a great blueprint for how to lay out a comic story. There are three distinct acts in this script and ends on a note intriguing enough to pull the reader into the next chapter. Some of the dialogue is a little stiff and on-the-nose but it's efficient and gets out all the information you need. The opening is one long scene and it has to catch us up through two characters shouting at each other. It's hard to tell and not show and the book suffers a bit for that. Guzman's art is reminiscent of DC house style from last decade, clear and clean with heavy ink outlines on characters. His background in super hero books lends itself well to the climactic action, filling the attacks with energy and force. When the violence kicks in his poses become more dynamic and everything is quicker and tougher. Like a real fight the transition is sudden and jarring. Unlike a real fight, it's not awkward or sloppy. The mafia men's logic is pretty dodgy though -- they blow up his house and then start a fight in a public place with big crazy weapons? This is action movie logic and a little stupid for men who are supposedly playing the murder game at a very high level. Tony Soprano would never approve of moves out in the open like this.
Logic aside, this is a good comic book. It will take some justification and big action to raise it up to great but it can get there. This is a story that will thrive on constant forward momentum. If the dialogue can even itself out then this is definitely a book I could see showing up at the local multiplex in the next few years.