Updated: Jan 24
RED MOTHER #1
Writer: Jeremy Haun
Artist: Danny Luckert
Colorist: Danny Luckert
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
7/10 Missing Eyeballs
Daisy McDonough’s night was going great. A pizza date with her boyfriend and on the walk home, talk of spending a week out of the country and an offer to stay the night at his place. A sudden noise shocks them both and Luke takes off after it while Daisy is left for dead in the alley after someone or something ripped her eyeball from her head. When she wakes up at the hospital, Luke is missing and the police are opening an investigation. Daisy struggles as she tries to move on with her life. In pain and feeling lost, she starts to retreat from her friends and the outside world. After being fitted with a prosthetic eye, you can see some of the weight of her situation fall from her shoulders. It seems things are starting to look up. That is until Daisy starts seeing red.
This first issue shows the emotional toll of dealing with and overcoming trauma and does it through the art. In the panels you can see how Daisy is coping, or not coping with her current situation. There is no narration needed. Daisy holds it all together in public but in the privacy of her own home, she breaks down to her base emotions. We see her raging and throwing her possessions around her house like a maniac. After she gets her prosthetic, her best friend, Pari, drops by unexpectedly. Daisy offers her some wine and we see Daisy in the kitchen using the counter to hold herself up. She musters the energy to keep it together and talk about the attack.
During their conversation, Daisy gets frustrated. Her vision turns red and she swears she can see from both eyes for just a second. Her therapist later suggests that it could be stress-related, but not to rule out a physical issue. While walking home from her session, Daisy gets a headache. When she opens her eyes, she’s seeing red again and this time, someone or something is coming at her!
I think this is a wonderful start to a horror series. It immediately hooks you in. What lured her man away? Is he alive? Where the hell is her eyeball, and is the red she’s seeing coming from it? What is up with that wannabe Ghost Rider creepin’ around?
The art isn’t my favorite, but it’s filled to the brim with feeling and emotion. All of the body language and facial expressions are spot on and you can genuinely feel how Daisy feels. BUT! Luckert’s art reminds me of Jonathan Luna's in that it is a very simple style that borders on the edge of laziness to me. There’s a simplicity in his line work that doesn’t resonate with me. I like harsh and bold and overly-detailed linework, none of which can be used to define Luckert’s style.
This may sound weird, but nothing in this book looks real. Remember when I said Daisy poured some wine for her and her friend? That wine doesn’t even look like liquid. Her cell phone, her hospital bed, the rug on the therapist’s office floor, none of it has that depth and detail that helps your mind make it real. It’s a pretty big turn off to me but the issue’s story is strong enough that I want to keep reading despite my dislike.
As for colors, I really enjoyed the palette used for the first few pages with Daisy and Luke at night, and I’m absolutely OBSESSED with those red pages. But, the middle pages with Daisy recuperating, the colors fell flat. The colors on those pages in particular were just... middle of the road. Vanilla. They were just too safe for a girl who probably doesn’t feel in control a single moment of the day. The colors just don't do Daisy’s emotional state any justice and it would be nice to see more of that expressed. The lack of certain shading adds to my complaint about nothing looking real. When an artist puts a lot of work into the background details it makes the world come to life, and the art for this issue doesn’t do that.
My disdain for the art and colors aside, I think this series has awesome potential! While reading this issue, there’s not a single moment where your mind drifts or you’re tempted to put the comic down. Just like any great first issue, it ends too soon and leaves you with that cliffhanger and the craving to read more.