The year is 1981. Hector Hernandez is the heir to a California-based restaurant chain called the Big Taco. His parents died in an accident with a drunk driver, and he and his brother inherited the company and the fortune. Hector, along with his neurotic best friend Gustavo, plans on enjoying this fortune to its fullest. This means strippers, drugs, sex, and parties with Hollywood elites.
Scoundrel is a dive into the mind of someone who, with power and money to burn, listens to everything their id compels them to do. Hector wastes no time in descending into debauchery and decadence without a second thought.
However, there is more to him than that. Hector is intelligent and driven; it’s just that he only uses these things to feed whatever base desire he wishes to serve next. He’s no airheaded or passive character. Hector actively pursues these instincts and knows how to best do it.
Gustavo serves as the Jiminy Cricket telling Hector that these are bad ideas. He wants to protect his friend from himself but isn’t assertive or convincing enough to do it. His character isn’t especially compelling. However, the his dynamic with Hector is interesting, and perhaps Gustavo will surprise me later.
There is an element of racial tension which makes for some good moments too. Hector is Mexican, and the Hollywood elites he rubs elbows with have certain expectations of him. He doesn’t care, but definitely seems like an element that he will have to reckon with later in the story. Hannibal Tabu places a lot of seeds in this first issue that seem likely to develop into some compelling elements later.
Dug Nation’s artwork is phenomenal. He places a lot of detail into every panel, and the characters are given very expressive faces and body language. Every scene is full of life, and this is aided by the excellent color work of Josephine Roberts. The comic looks absolutely great.
With a compelling premise of self-destruction, a good lead, and great art, Scoundrel #1 impresses on every page. Tabu, Nation, and Robert do some fine work here, and you should definitely check it out. This one easily earns a recommendation.
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