Justice is an interesting, and sometimes twisted, principle that everyone comes face to face with in their lives. The Justice system works a majority of the time and finds the guilty parties guilty for their crimes and life moves on. Sometimes the system doesn’t work and those that are guilty make it through the cracks. If you’re one of those guilty people that lucked up and managed to slip through the cracks and you’re on the the Sisters of Sorrow’s radar – you might want to notify the judge that set you free you’re ready to confess.
Written by Kurt Sutter and Courtney Alameda
Illustrated by Hyeonjin Kim
Colored by Jean-Paul Csuka
Lettered by Jim Campbell
Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy, Mayans MC) brings this all-new original tale of revenge and recovery to comics with novelist Courtney Alameda (Shutter) and breakthrough artist Hyeonjin Kim.
By day, Dominique, Greta, Misha, and Sarah run a nonprofit women’s shelter. At night, they each don a nun’s habit and move through Los Angeles hunting down violent abusers who have escaped justice.
Their increasingly public vigilantism has earned them the nickname Sisters of Sorrow, and has drawn the ire of L.A.’s notorious anti-crime task force.
Kurt Sutter is no stranger to violent characters and the lives that they lead from his television creations on The Sheild to Sons of Anarchy to his comic book characters in the pages of Sons of Anarchy and Lucas Stand that have been published through BOOM! Studios. The characters in Sisters of Sorrow fit firmly within his wheelhouse of strong characters created by tragic circumstances. Helping Sutter craft this series is Courtney Alameda who has become very well known for her novel, Shutter which was nominated for a Bram Stoker award. The teaming of these two writing powerhouses should set every comic reader’s curiosity meter to their max.
The issue starts off by dropping the reader into the lives of the women of the Haven House for Survivors of Domestic Violence and readers are introduced to Dominique, Greta, Misha, Sarah, and Ally. Sutter and Alameda provide an scene that these women have found themselves in like so many nights before in talking to one another before each goes their separate ways within the house to go to sleep. All of that is shatter by an intruder and the events of this night spiral these women into a new world of reality that none of them woke up that morning thinking they would find themselves. There is a realism within these opening pages, as well as most of the issue, that seems very real and something that could easily happen on any given night. This realism that Sutter and Alameda provide the reader is an easier point of connection with these women and one that draws the reader in quickly and has them clutching tightly for the next scene to see what happens next.
The art in this issue has a enormous task by telling this tragic and very human story with this intensity and shock that is needed to tell this story effectively. Hyeonjin Kim takes on that task and nails it from the word “GO!” The very first page of this issue sets the tone of the world that Sisters of Sorrow resides in and sets the mood for the rest of the issue. Kim takes that challenge head on and provides some amazing visuals. Prior to this issue I haven’t any of Kim’s previous work, and it is shocking that there’s not more out there to take in. Kim’s style is reminiscent Chris Visions in some regards, but still very much it’s own style. Kim’s art has a very kinetic feel to it that gives the characters life within every panel. Their movement is strong and has purpose and does not distract from what is happening on the page.
This story will revolve around these women and Kim has done a superb job of making each unique and able to complement the others. Domestic violence is does not discriminate and the choices in design with different ethnicities, shape, height, and other distinctions shows that in a subtle way. Sutter and Alameda’s choices were deliberate and the character designs match that.Continued below
Jean-Paul Csuka’s colors in this issue are probably the unsung hero of this issue. This series could easily be a black and white book and Kim’s art would shine on it’s own without any problems, but when you have a colorist like Csuka available to take the art to the next level you do a disservice to the series, the creators, and the fans by not adding colors. The action on the page takes on a new life as Csuka’s adds a level handed touch of color to the pages. The color palette is limited and the choices in where to provide certain shades sets mood and tone that only colorists can do with a comic book page. There is never a page where the coloring overpowers Kim’s illustrations, the coloring only amplifies it. There is a chase scene in the last third of the issue that involves police lights and the colors on those pages make those scenes pop.
This entire issue, the pedal is floored from beginning to end, and while that’s true there are only moments of heavy dialogue. The remaining pages are filled with Kim and Csuka’s art. Those pages are wide open minus a few sound effects, and that doesn’t give letterer Jim Campbell a lot of opportunity to show his skills. Or does it? The dialogue can be heavy at times because of an event that happens on the page causes everyone to react and react with some sense of urgency. Campbell takes those moments and weaves the dialogue around the panels and characters providing the linework and colors space to do their job visually and giving the proper space to the words that are needed on the page. There are a couple of pages during at the police station where the melding of entire art team almost looks like they’re performing to a crowd as the characters switch back and forth between panels showing different conversations, but the dialogue is in sync and it just works masterfully.
While only the first issue, the bar is set very high here for the rest of the miniseries. Dominique, Greta, Misha, and Sarah are very real characters that are not waiting to be rescued. They are taking on their problems head on and providing a unique sense of closure for a lot of pain in their lives. This has all the potential to be a miniseries that will be talked about for years to come.
Final Verdict: 9.0 – There really is not much to complain about this first issue. There are some questions that are brought up while reading, but that’s the success of this issue bringing up those questions and making the reader want to come back to find out more.