Bendis at DC has been a roller coaster for me. I am a big fan of his writing style but I have never really cared about Superman so most of his tenure at DC I haven’t really paid attention to. Two weeks ago that changed with the first issue of Young Justice which I absolutely loved. That continued this week with a brand new character in Naomi #1. Bendis writes teen characters really well so I was already excited for this book.
The setup is pretty simple. So simple that I can’t believe nobody has ever done it before. A lot of people grow up in sleepy little towns where not much happens but imagine that in the DC universe where super powers and costumed people are the norm. You see reports every day of crazy things happening in Metropolis as you while away the hours in your boring town with your normal friends and family. Nothing exciting ever happens in your town and then suddenly Superman and Mongul are throwing down on main street. For 17 seconds. And then we get a mystery! Something happened in this small town years ago but nobody will talk about it except to say that it is some kind of urban legend.
Most of this issue is setup and getting to know Naomi and her friends. It is an incredibly diverse cast lead by a female minority who is also adopted. I feel like Bendis is sprinkling some of his real life into these characters and I love every bit of it. The characters breathe and there are quiet moments where we get some wonderful insight into who Naomi is and what makes her click.
The biggest surprise for me was the art. I am not real familiar with Jamal Campbell but you can bet I will be looking for everything he’s ever done. He draws incredible people. Everyone has their own distinct style and you can almost see them moving in some of the panels. There is a double page spread set at dusk where the principle cast are all hanging out and everyone is chatting and doing their own thing and it is just such a wonderful, kinetic couple of pages. I can’t wait to see what happens next!