Stained #1 *Written and colored by David Baron * Illustrated by Yusuf Idris* Lettered by Simon Bowland *Cover by Steve Morris* Published by 451 Media Group*
Stained is a brand new comic book written by the uber talented David Baron. Yes you heard me correct I did say written by; although he actually took on double roles by writing AND doing the color for Stained. David Baron is best known for his outstanding color work on such iconic DC characters as Batman, Green Arrow and Wonder Woman. In this brand new book David brings us something fresh in what feels to be a recently exhausted genre. The futuristic/sci- fi/cyborg/bounty hunter thing has been done, a lot; but read on for my review of Stained #1 and how David Baron got it right.
Stained is a sci-fi book that is set in the future. A future in which the main character Emma is a bounty hunter that is part cyborg. Right away David makes the meaning of his title “STAINED” crystal clear, referring to Emma’s coloring. It seems to almost be a derogatory word in this world. Emma is fearless and fierce, she takes down bad guys for breakfast. She seems to be a 1 woman wrecking crew, doing the job of the entire police department. In her quest to earn credits and pay her rent she has to take on some pretty ruthless mother f*ckers that no one else will touch. Proving once again there is no rest for the wicked. Issue #1 is basically Emma working a bounty job and us getting a little glimpse into her world and her motivation.
In Stained #1 David Baron introduces us to his main character Emma London in a fast paced, waste no time manner. I have mad respect for the way he treats his readers; like we actually have brains. Not over explaining things in a passive manner was a good call. As a reader and a fan I want to get into things quickly and not be bored by some long drawn out set up. This enables STAINED to deliver a fast paced, action packed first issue. There are just enough details to help you understand what the premise is without loosing the reader. On the flip side there are sparse details given up in this first issue; cookie crumbs to keep the reader wanting to come back for more. David walks this fine line in a very professional manner. The other thing that was very well executed for me was the artwork and “surprise surprise” the colors. Artist Yusuf Idris keeps his lines sharp and his panels concise and clean. It really lends credit and weight to the whole futuristic feel of the book. David obviously does a tremendous job with the colors in his own book as well.
The main drawback of this issue for me was a lack of a cliff hanger or a lack of future direction I guess is the best way to put it. It almost felt like a complete story in one issue, and didn’t give much hint at what the future might hold for Emma. While David did a great job at not over complicating things, at the same time it felt as though it was lacking in plot.
Overall Stained #1 is a brilliant debut from David Baron and I’m giving it a score of 8/10! It is great to look at, has tons of action and a fast paced feel. You have to pick up further issues to really delve into character development, but I’m on board with that. Issue #1 even has a super cool variant cover done by the insanely talented artist Jock. Stained #1 hits the shelves this week for new comic book day Wednesday. David Baron will be signing copies of his book at local comic book stores Wednesday May 3rd and on Free Comic Book Day, May 6th. You can find out the when and the where by following him on Twitter @MyZombies or by asking me @geeky_goddess01.