Saturday, July 1, 2017

Normandy Gold #1 Review

"Normandy Gold" #1 from Titan Comics -

    Her name was supposed to be Victory. That's what her mother wanted to call her when she found out that the Invasion of Normandy was a success...But when her father didn't come home from the WWII, her mother named her Normandy instead. Normandy grew up hard. Her family was destitute, her mother wasn't the best role-model, and she had a baby sister that no one could pin on any father in particular. Normandy ran away in her early teens, traveling about, experiencing the best and worst humanity had to offer until she found a home in a small town in Oregon with a kind man who happened to be the sheriff. He taught Normandy all he knew about life, about hunting, and about being self-sufficient - when he died, she honored the only father she ever knew by becoming just what he was: an officer of the law. Years have passed, and now she's the sheriff. One day, out of the blue, she's surprised by a call from her long-lost sister. She's even more surprised when she is forced to listen over the phone as her sister is viciously murdered. Normandy heads to her last known whereabouts, Washington, D.C., to find out what happened to her sister, and to make somebody pay; but, to do this, she'll have to dive into a very dirty world. D.C. is a crazy place - corrupt, powerful men, crooked cops, hustlers, pushers, and pimps...Danger is around every corner, and there is no one she can trust. Can Normandy find out the truth before her sister's killer finds her?

   Megan Abbott and Alison Gaylin pen this hardboiled crime drama, "Normandy Gold" #1. Abbott and Gaylin have created a hardened female protagonist that gives you the sense that she's way more capable and ready for danger than most men. With the story being set in the early 70s, that makes Normandy Gold the perfect weapon - she's a street-smart knockout with guts and gumption. The bad guys won't know what hit them. She reminds me a lot of the heroines that helped to make the blaxploitation genre famous, heroines like Coffy, Foxy Brown, Friday Foster, and Cleopatra Jones. The similarities are obvious. Though blaxploitation is often remembered for its many problems, it cannot be forgotten that blaxploitation was one of the earliest genres (besides Hong Kong action cinema) to make women into double-tough, street-smart action heroes. But I digress. What is most striking about the book is how Abbott and Gaylin use Normandy's narration in the caption boxes to give us her backstory and to reveal her thought processes to the reader. The protagonist's voice is clear and hypnotic, which absolutely sucked me into the story and set me on this gritty journey with her. Even more compelling is Normandy's commitment to finding her sister's killer - she is willing to go as far as she needs to in order to bring her sister's killer to justice. There's no naivete in Normandy; she's willing to do a little wrong in order to do a big right. But why? For justice? For revenge? Because of the guilt of abandoning her, leaving her alone with their mother? Maybe it's a little of all of these. Steve Scott makes this story come alive with pencils that are pretty spectacular - every face tells a story, every look emotes. Scott shows the story perfectly as Abbott and Gaylin tell it superbly; this book simply looks great. "Normandy Gold" #1 is simply GREAT. 

RATING: 10 out of 10. I wouldn't be surprised to see "Normandy Gold" on the big screen one day. 

Caveat: This book is gritty, violent and has nudity and sexual situations. NOT FOR KIDS OR THOSE WITH DELICATE SENSIBILITIES.  

PS - Do yourself a favor and check out some of those blaxploitation films I listed above. You can thank me later. Again...NOT FOR KIDS OR THOSE WITH DELICATE SENSIBILITIES. :-)

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