Written by Lyn T. Byrd and Altemus
Art, Lettering and Design by Altemus
Color by Lyn T. Byrd
Release Date: September 2013
Cover Price: $3.99
What a wild ride this series is…I received both issue one and two of Argent Starr and read them back to back. As a matter of fact, I read them twice just to make sure I could give this a proper review. There is a lot of information in these two comics, creating a very fast paced, albeit confusing, story. No, let me rephrase that. The first issue confused me but the second one brought it all into focus. Allow me to explain further.
The first issue starts off with professional gambler (and polymorph) Rey Zyten arriving in New Vegas, Nevada to make a little money and hide out for a while. We are also shown super-thief Lazarus Stern stealing an artifact we soon find out is called the Cardinal Stone and that it is so powerful that it can destroy entire planets. Plus, there is Argent Starr who comes with his own bodyguard and talking cat. It is disjointed to the point that it feels like the reader is being bombarded with so much data that it becomes difficult to process. That said, after reading the second issue, so much more becomes clear.
As far as issue two goes, the reader gains a lot of insight from the very first page that is intended to recall previous events in the story. This chapter of the story is remarkably smoother, with better segues and far better explanations. Learning that Argent is the son of a marooned TGA agent who was sent to investigate a missing item, which turns out to be the Cardinal Stone, puts a lot into perspective. It apparently had been lost when the ship carrying crashed in Roswell and had subsequently been recovered by the local government in the 1960s. And in 2062, the setting for the story, it seems that Argent will have to pick up the trail where his father left off.
We get a look into Argent’s private storage areas and they look surprisingly like a huge trophy room… it’s actually quite similar to the BatCave. Throw in some references to the Code, a scientific group that attempts to catalog and control the multiverse, a few vague references of finding this lost Stone, and some quick views of how the other characters are faring and you have the makings of a pretty good story.
I was hesitant recommending this series at first but the second issue alleviated my concerns and really drew me in. I’m only worried that readers might pick up the initial issue, find it difficult to read and not go back for the second. But read together, the story definitely comes through. I find myself curious about this in the long run, the writing style of Altemus and Lyn T. Byrd is far different than the usual comic book fare. Not necessarily bad, just a tad eccentric. I think I would have preferred more history in the first issue as opposed to having to wait for it in the sequel. The art is serviceable, very two dimensional, but the true strength of this series is the storyline.
I’d say give it a try if you want something different. There are a few adult situations in the first issue so be aware that this isn’t kid friendly. It’s nothing too harsh, but there are some topless ladies in it (only one has anything truly showing). Having said all that, it’s definitely a take it or leave it series. If you can get it digitally, it’s less than a buck. And who wouldn’t try it for a dollar?