Monkeybrain Comics' digital comics are usually of high quality, so when a new series debuts it's always worth taking a look. This week brought the debut of "The Double Life of Miranda Turner" #1 by Jamie S. Rich and George Kambadais, and it isn't just good, it's great. This charmer of a comic has an already detailed backstory, an interesting world setup, and a great deal of fun.
The basic thrust of "The Double Life of Miranda Turner" is a winner in its own right. Miranda's sister Lindy used to be the superhero known as the Cat, until someone killed her and stole the mystic rune that gave Lindy her powers. Now Miranda is wearing the outfit of the Cat and fighting crime, aided by the ghost of Lindy that only Miranda can see, all in an effort to find her sister's murderer. If that sounds grim, don't worry. In the hands of Rich, there's a surprisingly light touch to this comic.
It doesn't hurt that Rich just recently wrapped a year's worth of "It Girl and the Atomics" comics, which was a goofy, silly, and fun spin-off from Michael Allred's "Madman." He's taken that experience and refined it further, coming up with crazy superheroes and supervillains for Miranda to butt heads with. How can you not love a pair of villains named the Blockheads who generate mountains of Legos by way of attack? There's something wonderfully bizarre about seeing Miranda swimming up to her armpits in the little colored blocks, even as waves of the toys crash onto the city and immobilize everyone.
Rich and Kambadias have also created a great backstory for the world of "The Double Life of Miranda Turner." We only get little hints in this first issue, but we're quickly learning about the way that the superpowered operate in this universe. With Miranda having to avoid the members of the Alphabet before they show up to stop the Blockheads, there's a fun balance between Miranda having to hide from the heroes just as much as stopping the villains. The one member that we do see -- the Zebra -- instantly gives us some hints as to both his and the Cat's place in the greater structure of this world, and I like that we're already learning about how everything operates while also not getting a huge information dump all at once.
Kambadias's art is very pleasant, a perfect example of that clean and crisp art style that I've loved to see making a resurgence over the past few years. He's able to handle both the big and the small here; the massive state of the Zebra in the central plaza has real power, while the thousands upon thousands of little Legos everywhere will make anyone who ever played with the toys laugh a great deal. The character designs are sharp here, too. The Blockheads are great, with their Devo hats and their oversized sunglasses, I feel like I'm at a Pet Shop Boys concert. Miranda's outfit as the Cat is adorable, too; with black mask, long-sleeved shirt, shorts, and boots, it's surprisingly simple yet visually appealing. And whenever Kambadias draws Miranda smiling, with those hints of freckles peeking out from under her mask? Well, it's hard to not be instantly charmed. I know I was.
"The Double Life of Miranda Turner" #1 is a real winner. Read it for the crazy heroics, the hinted-at fully-developed backstory, the gorgeous art, or even just the warm affection between sisters Miranda and Lindy. Monkeybrain Comics has picked up another winner of a series in the form of "The Double Life of Miranda Turner." At just $0.99, it's not only a bargain, it's a must-buy.