In Review: Lady Rawhide #1
The cover: I’m surprised to see the title character not crying a blood tear in this image by Joseph Michael Linsner, ’cause that’s what I’m used to him doing. Having taken my tongue out of my cheek, this is the perfect image to introduce readers to LR, and she’s looking sexy and tough, as she should. Linsner was the right choice for this cover. Overall grade: A
The story: “Sisters of the White Rose” is a nice origin for our lead that then brings her up to the present. Writer Eric Trautmann has set things up well. On Page 1 we see Lady Rawhide in action, fighting the soldiers of the army before a cheering crowd. Then we get a very neat flashback origin. El Gorrion, “The Sparrow,” is a warhorse of a train attacked once again by bandits, who are, this time, successful. They are not looking for riches, but rifles. Their goal achieved, their reveal on Page 6 actually surprised me, but why should it? I mean, considering what this book is, I shouldn’t have been momentarily stunned. Still, I really enjoyed this. The unexpected side effect of this raid on Page 7 was also a surprise, but provides just the right reason from what’s to follow. In the present on Page 8, the story gave me what I wanted: Zorro-like action and dialogue with an attractive lead. I was not disappointed. I was especially glad to see that LR has brains, and not just a body, with the dialogue and the bottom of Page 11. The double-paged spread on 12 and 13 was unnecessary. I didn’t need this backstory to get me to sympathize with Lady Rawhide, nor understand her better. I really liked the last bit of dialogue on 18. The final female that appears in the book will obviously provide the strand to propel readers to next issue, and establish a familiar set of antagonists. A fun read. Overall grade: A-
The art: I was also pleased with the artwork of Milton Estevam. His work on Lady Rawhide is good and he draws the many, many soldiers very, very well. His action scenes are also good. As I read this book I actually got the sense that I was in a real town and that Estevam had mapped/designed it all out. Usually in hero books, such as Batman, its jump from one generic building to another, but is felt real. The multiple character shot of LR swinging about on her whip (Page 14) is neat, and gave me the same warm fuzzy feeling of seeing Spider-Man leap about. Pages 19 and 20 look as though they were drawn by a different artist: Lady’s face and the peasants look odd as she’s throwing rocks at them. I know, but they don’t look like loaves of bread. Thankfully Estevam resumes his previous look on the final two pages. Outside of these two pages, the rest of the book looks okay. Overall grade: A-
The colors: The book starts with a fairly bland splash page but becomes spectacularly bright in the prologue. Once back in the present the colors dim too much. It’s supposed to be night, but I really think that the appeal of this book would great increase had this sequence been brighter. Only the final two pages are bright, and they look really good. I want Dinei Ribeiro to make this book much more brighter. Overall grade: C
The letters: The dialogue is good. The sound effects are good. The font used for the narration is terrible: it looks like something out of an early 90′s PC. It stopped the flow of the book every time it appeared. Please, Marshall Dillon, fix this font! Overall grade: C+
The final line: Enjoyable story and art, but the coloring and lettering are pulling it down. Overall grade: B
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years, and only recently has been teaching 9th graders English. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.