A girl named Pearl is singled out for a tattoo she has on her hand. While she and her friend, Kim, are chatting with the guy, a band of motorcycle-riding gangsters attempt a hit. Pearl kills them with ease. This gets the attention of her boss, a man who could use a steady and accurate hand.
In a back-up story, Bruce Wayne passes with a single word on his lips: “Rosebud.” Reporter Clark Kent wants to know what it means.
Pearl #1 is a surprisingly quick read. It establishes its concept quickly, but it doesn’t do much more. There is the one instance of Pearl, Kim, and the guy almost being killed, a quick flashback, and the conversation between Pearl and her boss.
The comic is a good exposition for artist Michael Gaydos, and I can’t begrudge that. Gaydos is an incredible artist, and he does impeccable work here. There is one panel where the framing and angle makes it look like two characters are staring into space instead of looking at each other, creating a pretty goofy image, but that is one instance.
Beyond that, Gaydos is in top form here. The world is moody, Pearl has a good character-design, the action scene is intense and well-sequenced, and the detailing is fantastic. There’s something to be said about how great the tattoos look too; Gaydos’ style lends itself well to the texture and overall appearance of a tattoo. The color work is incredible too. It’s similarly moody and grim, with tattoos and clothing serving as a great visual contrast.
The Batman story is clever, but it does oddly just hit many of the beats of Citizen Kane. It’s cool enough though.
Pearl #1 is a little thin on story, but the artwork balances it out well. The characters seem interesting for as long as we get to read about them, but that isn’t for long. The visuals are incredible, and that does bring enough to make the book worth recommending. Feel free to check it out.
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