Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Comics Review: "THE RIBBON QUEEN #3" Checks Her Naughty List


STORY: Garth Ennis
PENCILS: Jacen Burrows
INKS: Guillermo Ortego
COLORS: Dan Brown
LETTERS: Rob Steen
COVER: Declan Shalvey
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS:  Mike Deodator, Jr.; Chris Ferguson and Jacen Burrows; Declan Shalvey
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (September 2023)

Rated: “Mature”

Chapter 3: “From Across the Western Ocean”

The Ribbon Queen is a new eight-issue miniseries from AWA Studios.  The series focuses on an ancient and terrible force that is loose in the modern world.  It is written by Garth Ennis; drawn by Jacen Burrows (pencils) and Guillermo Ortego (inks); colored by Dan Brown; and lettered by Rob Steen.

The Ribbon Queen introduces NYPD Detective Amy Sun and her current problem.  Three years ago, a young woman named Bella Rhineback was rescued from a serial killer by a police tactical unit.  Now she’s dead, and Amy has a bad feeling that the SWAT team leader, Keith Connolly, is responsible.  Now, as she investigates her own department, she discovers something old and awakened.  And it will confront everything she believes.

The Ribbon Queen #3 (“From Across the Western Ocean”) opens with the story of Amy's faux pas – so to speak.  Next, up it's a series of conversations – one revealing (with a colleague) and one contentious (with a relative).  Then, Amy makes her move on the late Keith Connolly's teammates.  Will they listen to her or kill her?  Either way, the crap is about to hit the fan over and over again.

THE LOWDOWN:  AWA Studios marketing recently began providing me with PDF review copies of their comic book publications.  The Ribbon Queen #3 is a recent title.

Writer Garth Ennis uses The Ribbon Queen #3 as a way to give readers sort of a breather; here, he is only choking them a little instead of choking them out the way he has in previous issues.  Ennis even introduces a rival player in this game of death to freshen up the story.

Jacen Burrows, who has been drawing disquieting comic book art for quite a while, uses all his eerie talents here for this issue.  Sometimes, Burrows makes reading this comic book feel like I'm watching someone approach me when I know he has a big knife behind his back.  Is the knife for my stabbing or is that person going to kill himself in front of me?  Yeah, Burrows' storytelling can do that.

When people ask, “Remember when comic books were fun?,” I say, “You mean like now with crazy AWA Studios titles such as The Ribbon Queen?”  That's a recommendation, dear readers.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Garth Ennis and (ought-to-be) fans of Jacen Burrows will want to read The Ribbon Queen.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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