Ruby Falls #1

Ruby Falls 1 cover

The noir that isn’t. If you are identity-buying or gal-pal buying at the comic book store, this is the book for you! Wait…What are you doing at the comic book store?

Ruby Falls #1
Written by Ann Nocenti
Penciled by Flavia Biondi
Colored by Lee Loughridge
Edited by Karen Berger
Cover by Flavia Biondi
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Genre: Crime
Pages: 32

Synopsis:Ruby Falls is a sleepy town. But sleep brings nightmares, and Lana is about to wake up in the middle of her hometown’s biggest secret: the ”disappearance” of infamously progressive Betty Gallagher during the mobster-ruled heyday of the old mining town. When details of the cold-case murder start to come out through her grandmother Clara’s foggy, dementia-jumbled memories, Lana becomes obsessed with cracking the case, even if it splinters the peaceful town–and endangers everything she loves.

From Ann Nocenti (The Seeds, Daredevil) and rising talent Flavia Biondi (Italian artist of La Generazione making her American comics debut) comes Ruby Falls: a neo-noir tale of love, memory, and murder mysteriously woven through three generations of women, and hinging on their individual, intertwined fights for freedom.

Now, that’s the marketing jazz. This is a girl-power marketed story. Let’s ignore that.

Noir comics are usually dark. Color, greyscale or zip toned ink-spitting, Frank Miller dark. Sleek, sharp characters brimming over with charisma or ruggedness. Women are not attractive in an American or rural sense. The storytelling is all leaning over coffee and one scuffle at the end. This is not noir.

What I am saying is the marketing is way off-message. The cover should have said one thing and everything would be forgiven: European Murder Mystery. No one would buy that though.

I will also complain that the lead is buried and repeatedly surfaces. Why? Who cares? You have to make the reader care. Not telling the next bit of the story isn’t pacing but mystery-boxing. If you write, don’t mystery-box your readers. You are not Jar Jar Abrams.

While I don’t see Ruby Falls as a technical failure, I do not see it as a buy.

For the first issue in a limited series “noir” this is a solid 2 stars of 5.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are those of the individual reviewer

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