Operation S.I.N. #1

Story by
Art by
Rich Ellis
Colors by
Jordan Boyd
Letters by
Joe Sabino
Cover by
Marvel Comics

Designed to capitalize on this week's premiere of "Marvel's Agent Carter" on ABC, Kathryn Immonen and Rich Ellis' "Operation S.I.N." #1 follows the continuing adventures of Peggy Carter through the Cold War and positions her as another proactive female protagonist in Marvel's rapidly expanding roster of such titles. It's a well-designed debut full of great art and stylish dialogue, but it doesn't do much to distinguish itself outside of being a period piece.

Immonen writes Carter as a take-no-guff woman of action, a presence that commands a room when she enters. The back-and-forths between her and a cocksure Howard Stark are a highlight of the book. There is a real chemistry between these two, their personalities bouncing off and complementing one another with ease. Immonen's dialogue is light and wry, like a great action film. Even the cliffhanger of the issue, which introduces the larger threat that's likely to drive the remainder of the series, is addressed with a bit of levity.

The story is fine, but the book doesn't do a whole lot to establish itself as anything more than a fun adventure. That's not to say this is a bad thing, but there isn't a wholly unique take on the situation other than a few familiar characters working together in the past. The final scene of the issue could lead it down a completely different path and these words could very well be served back to me on a platter, but the opening issue does a better job of establishing the tone and characters than it does in creating a compelling plot.

Ellis is a great fit for the title, delivering characters that look well-styled and appropriate to the era in which the story takes place. Like his Periscope Studios partner Steve Lieber, Ellis knows how to show a character's mindset through visuals. His Peggy has recognizable shifts in posture between scenes, her stance more at ease when she is alone and stalk-straight when it's time to take charge of a situation. Stark's facial reactions are also a fun highlight, ranging from smug to curious to self-surprising. The page layouts are straightforward but easy to read, and highlight the appropriate action as needed. Jordan Boyd uses the 1950s as the inspiration for his color palette, delivering a combination of earthy tones and bright, bold hues. He especially does a lot of heavy lifting in the final scene, which approaches distraction but doesn't detract from the visual experience.

This is a fun debut by a solid team that works well together. If Immonen and company can deliver a plot that is as entertaining as the characters, this miniseries will be a very fun ride.

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