Written by Alex de Campi
Art by Tony Parker
Color by Blond
Published by Image
Review by Gregory Brothers
Sometimes comics that are closer to reality can be even more interesting than ones that are based on super powered heroes and villains. The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was an interesting time. Neither country liked each other nor the way of life, but the leaders of the countries knew that they could never head down the path of war because it would lead to certain death for both countries if not the world. Since both sides knew they could never really go to war, they instead turned to building up arms and international espionage. Mayday #1 tells the story of some of those people and their separate organizations.
Mayday #1 starts following two CIA agents as they head off to meet with a spy that has collected information for the United States government. The list of all the known Soviet spies living in the United States is one that could be a game changer. The spy is worried he has been discovered and the CIA knows they must get to him before the Soviets do. On the other side, we are introduced to “Felix” and “Trixie” who are both Soviet operatives who have been given the job of bringing in the same spy that the CIA is trying to bring in. While seemingly well trained the lure of living a night as Americans has unforeseen consequences, including an unplanned drug trip from laced vodka and a run in with a group of hippies, on their mission. The final mistake leads to the loss of their car and a run in with local authorities.
The art throughout this issue fits the mood of the book extremely well. While the majority of the book is done in a realistic and softer tones, when the Soviet operatives are being effected by the Vodka and the LSD the art and colors shift to bright and brilliant colors, with larger than life and distorted people and surroundings. Another thing that I really liked was that when Americans were speaking English around the Soviets some of the text was distorted so that it was impossible to read giving you the idea of what the Soviets would have been actually hearing if it was a true conversation. The choice was an interesting one and threw me off when I was first reading the issue, but after I was able to figure out the purpose I enjoyed the challenge of figuring out what was really being said. The other choice that de Campi made was to create a play list on Spotify that goes along with the reading. All of the songs are based on what is going on and fit the time.
Wait and See. This is only a 5 part mini-series and I think that allot of the things that are introduced here could be very fun to follow. However, some of the choices that are made such as all the characters that show up in this first issue make it seem crowded and confusing. It’s a problem that can plague many a first issue and it is one that hits this issue hard. I found myself having to go back several times to figure out whom we were following now, as the transitions were not smooth. The change in the art and the playlist that goes along with the issue give it a some unique qualities but I think that it will be much more enjoyable when put together as a collected trade rather than month to month.