"Styx & Stone #1" Comic Review
Written by James "Spez" Ferguson
Published by Bluewater Comics
Written by Adam Gragg & Darren G. Davis
Illustrated by Matias Balsa & Stefano Cardoselli
2011, 36 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 26th, 2011
Being a detective in a big city can be a really crappy job. Melvyn Stone certainly didn't seem to have things easy on his own with the city looking like it does. His life didn't get any better when he had to share a body with a creature named James Wyatt. It's not all bad, though. Stone's been able to use Wyatt's "expertise" to help solve some cases. To the outside world, Stone gets some great hunches but it's really a demon whispering in his ear.
This issue starts with the detective arriving on the scene of a heinous crime. A college kid has had his eyes surgically removed while he was still alive. Stone's new partner Claire Sanchez helps out a bit but Stone gets all the answers in the preliminary investigation. The only lead they have is a friend of the victim's, but that doesn't go anywhere.
Meanwhile, Stone's dreams turn to nightmares as his mind is transported to a burnt-out version of his hometown. Wyatt leads him through the wreckage before transforming into a hideous creature, warning Stone that his destiny has been foreseen by Styx and he's not happy. Styx is a mystery, though, since that's the only mention of him (or her) in this issue outside of the title.
The art in Styx and Stone is shaky at best. It's done by two artists, Matias Balsa and Stefano Cardoselli. They have two different styles and it's pretty clear when one artist is handling a section alone. This disrupts the overall flow of the book. The pencils are rough and look sketchy and unfinished. There's an overemphasis of shadow with a character's features barely distinguishable through the darkness. It looks like they're going for a mutated look to the average cop drama. There are moments where the art fits but it fails most of the time.
Styx and Stone has several interesting aspects to it, but this first issue is all over the place. It left me with a lot of questions. Who is James Wyatt? How did his spirit merge with that of Melvyn Stone's? Who is Styx? It also wasn't clear that James and Wyatt were the same person because both names are used throughout this issue. With a little clarity, Styx and Stone can be a refreshing, supernatural take on an otherwise dry genre. I just hope that it takes the time to flesh out the details a bit further and clean up the art.
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