Jay Faerber (Writer) and Jorge Molina (Art)
When I saw the Pilot Season schedule, I couldn’t help but feel that Top Cow saved the two titles with the most potential, Urban Myths and The Core, for last. Jay Faerber, author of Urban Myths, and Jonathan Hickman, author of The Core, are personal favorites of mine and I have been looking forward to their contributions to the Pilot Season for quite some time.
Let me start by saying that one of the greatest compliments I can give an author and artist is that their book tells a fantastic, visually impressive stand-alone story that leaves me wanting more. Urban Myths is that type of book, a perfect blend of great writing and unique, vibrant artwork. Jay Faerber and Jorge Molina have truly created something special and it will be a shame if this series isn’t given a chance to continue.
Urban Myths tells a fairly simple story about a private detective, Jack Kaklamanis, and his search for a missing girl. What makes the story stand out is that it takes place in a very modern world where Greek mythology is literally a part of everyday life. You see, Jack Kaklamanis is usually known by another name, Jack Medusa, because of two traits, snakes for hair and a gaze of stone, that he inherited from his mother’s bloodline. The story opens a few days into Jack’s investigation as he finds himself on the receiving end of a beating by two cyclopian thugs trying to kidnap a girl, but not the one he is looking for. He dispatches the two would be kidnappers using one of the traits his mother gave him and heads home for the night. Talking to his blind father gives Jack an idea and soon he realizes that he has a solid lead on where the girl may be. I won’t reveal what happens from that point on, but I will say that the surprisingly touching story makes great use of a number of aspects of Greek mythology.
As far as the writing goes, Jay Faerber really knocks this one out of the park. He takes a simple story and turns it into something memorable thanks to great main character, a strong supporting cast, some humorous dialogue, and an unexpected amount of heart. Jack Medusa is already in my mind as one of my favorite comic characters of all time, so here’s to hoping that he is the star of an ongoing series in the near future. Mr. Faerber could have easily just thrown together a bunch of cool scenarios about what might happen if mythological creatures coexisted with us today and I probably would have been fairly happy just based on the concept alone. But instead, he chose to tell a small, intimate story about a detective looking to do what’s necessary to find a runaway girl and the book is infinitely better because of it. Stellar work all around by Jay Faebrer.
The artwork by Jorge Molina deserves just as much praise as the writing. Molina truly brings Faerber’s world and story to life with an incredibly unique, distinct, and cohesive visual style. The character design is top-notch, the color work is some of the best I’ve seen, and everything is extremely well directed. I have absolutely no complaints about this book from a visual standpoint, though I will say that the style may not appeal to some.
I flat out love Urban Myths and hope that I get to see more of Jack Medusa and company sooner than later. Make sure to vote for this one when polls open in August at www.myspace.com/pilotseason so that it can be greenlit for a full run. (Grade A+)
– Kyle Posluszny