What can I say about Breathless, the newest comic from Black Mask Studios? Well I can say that I highly suggest you read the end matter, don’t just read the story, read the story behind the story. It shed a whole new light on what I had just finished reading, and definitely gave me a punch to the gut. With this out of the way, let’s get to the real review.
Breathless’s tag line is “It’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer if the villain was Big Pharma.” And I gotta say, it’s not wrong. The main character Scout reminds me of a mix between Buffy and Zoe from Firefly. And then there is Grace-Eisley who made me laugh with her rapid fire, has-no-filter speech. The pair of friends work together in a lab that does experiments on all sorts of creatures, and the world is built in a way that you don’t question at all that the humans are fighting all sorts of evil things. Heck, Scout routinely uses a Succubus as an informant.
I really enjoyed the relationships in this story. For a first issue it had plenty of punch. Scout’s relationship with her Aunt Melissa was really authentic and then her interactions with the other characters never felt forced either. The story starts out just like any urban fantasy, until the c word is thrown around. I’m talking about “cure.”
As soon as Scout is miraculously cured, then it becomes Scout vs Big Pharma. And I gotta say, it doesn’t get preachy. When I first read the synopsis I thought it might, but it doesn’t. (then again I’ve had to pay for an inhaler, even with insurance my eyes bulged) But you do start to question everyone’s loyalty and friendship. By the end of this first issue, we’ve already lost a cool guy, and suspicions have been cast on the current love of Grace-Eisley’s life. For a first issue, I was hooked immediately, and I will be watching closely for what comes next.