No Heroine #1 (Review): Buffy’s All Grown Up!
No Heroine #1
Written by: Frank Gogol
Art by: Criss Madd
Colors by: Shawna Madd
Letters by: Sean Rinehart
CoverA by: Ahmed Raafat
CoverB by: Ben Templesmith
Publisher: Source Point Press
Before we dive into this beautiful gritty Buffy battles Vampire Junkies story, let us start with the cosmetics. The attention to detail and artistry in crafting this book captivated my eye from the beginning. It’s the little things, that really matter and also translate as well as resonate and carry over into the bigger picture. First off, the back of each Issue is uniquely colored, but maintains the same texture, with the awesome Vamp Skull & Needle No Heroine logo (in addition to the SPP logo and price). For those of us who grew up in the 90’s, we’ve seen some cool spin-offs of the ol’ Skull & Bones.. The Jackass Logo, fractured skull and two crutches was one of my favorites. So HATS off to whoever created that logo and kept up the 90’s feels and aesthetic by creating their own Skull & Bones..or rather Vamp Skull and Heroin Needles. (BTW there will be metal pins at some point of this logo, you can subscribe to Frank’s email for updates on this and other cool information, as well get a free digital copy of Dead End Kids#1: NewsLetter_Signup
Speaking of the exterior and as well as the end of 80’s, early 90’s vibe.. The creative force behind No Heroine #1 has been on fire with multiple variant covers for this book. One of them, a personal favorite of mine, is the Chris Callahn Retailer Relief variant, it SCREAMS ‘The Lost Boys’ (which is one of my all-time favorite Vamp films). Besides the awesome look of this variant, the proceeds support Retailer Relief Bundles (badass way of giving back, helping the customers as well as supporting the shops during these COVID times). And yes, the Retailer Relief Exclusive has its own special Red Back Cover (again the little things).
I’m going to keep this review spoiler free as I dive into the interior…
The tagline for No Heroine is “Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Tank Girl” in this story about a recovering addict trying to right the wrongs of her days as a junkie so she can finally go home to her family. But along the way, she learns that maybe not everyone is cut out to be a hero.” Now I’m familiar with Tank Girl, but by no means an expert – I am however VERY familiar with Buffy. I grew up watching that TV Show and let’s be honest, Sarah Michelle Gellar was every boy’s ‘Girl Next Door’ dream.. It was quirky and fun, but it was also network TV and it had its limits. Plus I’m older now, and my taste have matured a bit, which is why it’s awesome to get that Buffy feel, but aged like a fine Cask of Amontillado.
A couple things that really stood out to me was the author’s understanding of addiction and being around addicts, the toll it takes on the family. Again I’m avoiding spoilers, but as someone who has lived with addicts, watched family and friends waste away..this book hits home and it deals with it all in a very clever and fun way. I appreciate the references to AA as well as other little things those of us who have been around those people and things will understand.
Both the artwork and writing delivered a relatable and recognizable main character. I rather enjoyed the Art and Colors by the Madd fam and definitely look forward to seeing more from that talented duo. There was great attention to details and little Easter eggs in this first issue, so enjoy each page as if it were a painting as you read No Heroine.
Also, Hola! to our Spanish speakers. There are some fun little Spanish moments in the dialogue and I think those of you who’re bilingual, will enjoy the representation. And for those who don’t speak Spanish, don’t worry, the book is mainly in English and a few little words here and there in Spanish don’t take away from your ability to understand and appreciate this story. It all adds to the authenticity and very real feel of this story.
Overall, I found the pacing and story structure to be right up my alley. Issue#1 did a good job of standing on its own legs and making for a fun little pickup for those who can just grab a single copy and enjoy it, while also setting us up for future issues and everyone else who wants to read every single one of these as they emerge!
BONUS: On top of the badass exclusive variant covers that are floating around, I believe there is also a Midnight/Snow cover in the works (blank black, blank white for artist commission covers) available. Those will be in a very affordable price range – again, subscribing to Frank Gogol’s email will give updates, but also the regular edition of this book can be ordered from retailers and that Exclusive Retailer Relief is floating around too!
The pacing and story structure to be right up my alley.