By Jason Moody & Josh Ruggles (creators), Robert Barry & Joe Shaw & Jason Moody (writers), Jason Moody (pencils and inks), and Justin Greathouse (colors)
The Story: Scarlet Veronica is about a teenage girl whom, due to a freak accident, possesses supernatural powers and a sexy alternate identity. She uses said powers to fight a variety of evil while dealing with the rigors of being the “new girl” at Romero High. The first issue of the series is an origin story of sorts, while the second explains her powers and introduces some Christmas-themed creatures and zombies to the mix.
What’s Good: The writing throughout both books is quite clever, allowing the series to overcome its generic trappings. Clever “in” jokes for horror fans and fun, familiar scenarios keep things interesting. As for the visuals, they serve the story well by being both stylish and quite pleasing to the eye. The whole thing has a smart, dark cartoon vibe that should go a long way towards hooking readers.
What’s Not So Good: This book suffers when it falls back on generic stereotypes to tell the story. The “new girl,” the “anxious geek,” and the “jock with a clueless sidekick” are no more interesting here than anywhere else. Also, I really can’t seem to pin down exactly who the target audience is for this series. It is almost as though the creators are attempting to make the series something for everyone, but as the saying goes “jack of all trades, master of none.” For example, the cartoony visuals seem to be meant for a younger or female audience, but the sexuality of the character could definitely be a turnoff to those very readers. The story, while simple and enjoyable, is filled with dialogue that would probably not be appreciated by the casual audience most likely to be drawn to the title.
Conclusion: Scarlet Veronica is off to a fun and promising start. However, the creative team really needs to figure out what type of audience it is aiming for. Casual readers may find themselves lost among all the genre jokes and scenarios, while younger or female fans may find the surprising amount of sexuality to be offensive. Definitely worth a look, just don’t expect anything particularly groundbreaking.