I had no idea that I was secretly desperate for a comic by Kathryn Immonen and Tonci Zonjic. Sure, Immonen wrote the fantastic "Hellcat" mini-series, and Zonjic drew "Marvel Divas." I know they're both talented. But together? Well, if "Heralds" #1 is any indication, Immonen and Zonjic need to work on a lot more comics with one another. This was just fun, pure and simple.
Immonen's story has just the right mixture of whimsy and drama. Cyclops and Emma Frost celebrating Emma's birthday is a great early scene in the book, but from there Immonen just keeps it rolling. Sure, collecting together the characters of Emma Frost, Photon, Hellcat, Valkyrie, She-Hulk, and Agent Brand is a stretch, but Immonen makes it work. More importantly, she moves past that moment as quickly as possible and lets the reader just take for granted that the six of them are now hanging out in Las Vegas together. And that, of course, is when the dinosaur and clones of Einstein attack.
Yes, it's silly and it's funny, and Patsy Walker gets all of the best lines (although some of the others do their best to try and compete), especially when it comes to attacking the clones. But there's also a more serious side to "Heralds" #1, as we watch a waitress in the middle of nowhere working at a diner, and then her whole life crumbles around her. Immonen jumps back and forth between the two at just the right moments. For readers who have read comics with the waitress in her earlier life, the issue ends with just the right sort of cliffhanger as her identity is revealed. Now, I'd already gathered that the character was coming back in this mini-series. But somehow, Immonen still blindsided me, letting me utterly miss who the waitress was. I think it's because of the way she wrote it, deliberately distracting me with all the hilarity in the other storyline, as well as the darker moments out in the desert. And I'm pleased, because that's exactly how it should be handled.
Zonjic's art looks just as great as it did in "Marvel Divas." It's a slightly stripped down, simple style but it's still immensely expressive and active. The smile on Scott's face as he hugs Emma while they stare out the window is a nice combination of amused and content, and the glee on Patsy's face as she asks about Oppenheimer actually forced me to put down the comic because I was laughing so hard. Zonjic is great with the fight scenes, too; clocking Einstein in the face has never had such a wallop to it, and the waitress speeding into the desert is drawn in a way that makes you feel like she's really moving.
I'm glad that "Heralds" is a weekly mini-series, because I'm already dying for the next issue. Immonen and Zonjic have solidified themselves quite nicely as creators that I'm absolutely going to seek out from now on. For now, though, I'll just sit back and enjoy this comic. "Heralds" is the kind of comic that brings you back to the store every week for the next chapter.