Writer: Terry Kavanagh
Artwork: Daniel Maine
Colors: Bryan Valenza
Published by Zenescope Entertainment
Okay, maybe that’s not that exciting, but I have to imagine most people (like me) see the name Terry Kavanagh and immediately think of the Spider-man Clone Saga. I believe he was both an editor and a writer during those glorious years, but to my knowledge he disappeared just like, well, like Ben Reilly.
And, hey, Ben Reilly is back, too!
Zenescope has gone through a change over the last few years, as far as I can tell. While their original line featured and ton of T&A, their current books are a little less obvious. Don’t get me wrong, they still have a fair amount of attractive women, but they’re less ostentatious about it. These characters are still good looking, yes, but it’s in addition to being actual characters; it’s not their entire persona.
Perhaps that where a veteran comic book creator like Kavanagh comes in, someone who has experience working on characters and not fetishes.
Muskateers #1 does feature attractive women in questionable outfits, but they are questionable outfits that you’d find in any comic, so I guess that’s progress?
And there are attractive men, too. Overall there’s just fair less of a focus on the heterosexual male gaze.
I don’t have a lot familiarity with Zenescope’s line beyond a few mini-series here and there. Digression: one of the first reviews I ever had published online was for a Zenescope book. It was for Comics Bulletin. I’d been told to submit some reviews of some indie books as a trial run. I went to my local store and grabbed whatever indie books were on the new release shelf. One of those was a Zenescope book, I think an issue of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.
Anyway, it’s clear that Zenescope has built out a nifty little supernatural universe. Musketeers #1 touches on a lot of different elements, but it’s never so much that it’s confusing. It’s a solid way to tease out the rest of the line.
The crux of this book is three people, Winter, Diego, and Carmen who live in Philadelphia and find themselves with powers. They are persuaded to fight certain battles by Merlin, whose motives are unknown. As is the case with modern superheroes, though, the Musketeers have normal lives that conflict with their new vigilante duties.
The art by Daniel Maine is good, not flashy, but the storytelling is clear and the splash pages have impact. I’m looking forward to see how his work evolves over the course of this series, even if it’s just a few issues long.
I like that Zenescope has changed with the times, even if some of their variant covers are still questionable. But they seem to be focused on telling stories and building a mythology as opposed to T&A and pseudo-horror. I’m looking forward to checking out more from them.