Review: Red Winter #1

Originally posted on Irish Comic News (29/Aug/2019)

Written by Michael Gordon
Pencils and inks by Francisco Munoz
Colours and book design by Rolands Kalnins
Letters by Nikki Sherman
Cover by Chris Shenan

Red Winter follows former NYPD detective Eli Winter as he is enlisted to investigate the destruction of meth labs belonging to crime boss, Nikolai Dubrovsky. Winter works for Dubrovsky as Winter would probably spending his days rotting in an American prison if not for Dubrovsky.

It’s apparent from the opening pages that Winter that living in Kapotnya (the most crime-ridden district of Moscow) isn’t much of a step up from a prison. He’s at the beck-and-call of a crime boss, while living in a country with a climate that doesn’t do much for his disposition.

First issue is a solid start to the mini-series. It establishes the main players and the stakes are set. Winter investigates the destruction of the lab, which naturally involves talking to some very unpleasant people. Winter doesn’t have the protection that he would have had previously while working for the NYPD. At times it seems he is very much out of his depth as his investigation progresses.

The art really captures the atmosphere of Dubrovsky well. Much of the locations are rundown and neglected, which is to be expected in a district where criminals rule the streets. I enjoyed the art throughout the first issue. I really liked how the colours became quite minimal in the fight sequence. It made those panels quite stark in contrast to the surrounding panels.

The lettering flows well through the pages and leads the readers eyes nicely. Positioning is well-chosen and doesn’t obscure any of the art below.

I had originally read this issue after it was successfully Kickstarted and really enjoyed it. So I was quite pleased when the team announced that the mini-series had been picked up by Scout comics.

Hopefully, Scout Comics publishing the mini-series will mean a larger readership than just those who Kickstarted the first issue. It’s a well put together detective/ noir story that people miss out on.

It’s a promising start to the mini-series. I’ve really looking forward to seeing how the rest of the mini-series unfolds.

Issues one and two are already released (with issues three and four due out in September and October).

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