By: Michah S. Harris (writer), Loston Wallace (art), Steve Downer (colors) & Nate Pride (letters)

The Story: Spunky/Sexy secret agent Lorna, tries to foil a secret plot against the United States capital.

What’s Good: Great and fun art!  There is certainly a place in comicdom for this kinda of good-girl pin-up-styled art.  Wallace’s Lorna is cute and happens to be wearingly shorts that are a little too short and tops a little too tight, but there’s nothing remotely trashy about her.  Trashy would be a state of mind and Lorna doesn’t have even an aroma of skank about her.

Another thing that you might love about the art in this issue is its vitality.  If you read any of my reviews on this site, you know that I’m a sucker for any type of art as long as the characters look alive.  Every panel in this issue just ripples with life and emotion and a lot of this is chalked up to a slightly cartoony feel that helps characters scrunch up their faces and give “eat-shit” looks in a way that is really difficult to do with a more realistic style.  Top notch coloring too!  I loathe over-rendered digital coloring, but this issue shows that you can do a couple gradations of color as long as you do them well.  Everything is bright and bouncy as hell.

The story itself isn’t awesome, but is fun.  To be candid, I didn’t fully understand the complex nature of the plot and who precisely the bad guys are, but all you really need to know is that secret agent Lorna is opposed by her lifelong nemesis Martha Madison (who has been one notch better than Lorna at everything in their lives) and that the plot somehow involves a stonemason’s/secret society-like guild.  It’s fun and the dialog is good.

There is also a lot of value in this issue as it features a bunch of Lorna pin-ups by other artists and two full back-up stories.

What’s Not So Good: Well, if you’re expecting a Greg Rucka-style espionage thriller, this isn’t that at all.  Don’t know how you would expect that based on the cover art, but this story seems like more of an excuse to have a spunky/sexy heroine do kinda heroic stuff.  In fact, the story just plain doesn’t make a lot of sense.  I really don’t think it supposed to be a story where fans are discussing plot intricacies on message boards, but I know there are passionless comic readers out there who “only care about the story” and they might be a little disappointed.

The back-up stories feature Lorna at different phases in her life and while none of these are “bad”, but after Wallace’s great pin-up art in the main story, I almost feel like Lorna is Wallace’s character.  He just owned the character in a way that made the back-ups pale a little bit.  I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Lorna, but only if we can have Wallace back on art.

Conclusion: A fun one-shot that has promise for a 4-issue miniseries.  Not the tightest story, but the art on the main story more than makes up for it.  If you like art that is on the Darwyn Cooke (who does an awsome cover for this issue) or Amanda Conner side of cheesecake, you’ll love this.

Grade: B

-Dean Stell

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