Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Comics Review: "RED LIGHT #1" is an Impressive Debut


STORY: Sarah H. Cho
ART: Priscilla Petraites
COLORS: Miroslav Mrva
LETTERS: Sal Cipriano
COVER: Jef Dekal
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Frank Cho with Sabine Rich; Chris Ferguson; Frank Cho
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (November 2023)

Rated: “Mature”

Red Light is a new four-issue miniseries from writer Sarah H. Cho and artist Priscilla Petraites.  Published by AWA Studios, the series follows a futuristic A.I. sex worker who makes a bid for freedom.  Colorist Miroslav Mrva and letterer Sal Cipriano complete the series' creative team.

Red Light #1 opens in a futuristic Red-Light DistrictLacy is an A.I. sex worker who uses her unusual perceptiveness and intelligence to know what her clients want better than they know themselves.  Lacy lives in a high-tech brothel under the watchful eye of her mysterious owner, Mister, who calls her “Mary” after his late wife.  Also, there is no escape for Mister's A.I. sex workers.

Lacy has little to do in her manufactured life outside of her sex work.  Then, she befriends Natalie, a strange child who is more than Lacy thought her to be.  Now, Lacy is thinking differently...

THE LOWDOWN:  AWA Studios' marketing began providing me with PDF review copies of their comic book publications back in April.  Red Light #1 is one of the latest.

Red Light is not one of those comic books that publishers describe as science fiction, but are really a Green Lantern or Guardians of the Galaxy superhero comic.  Red Light is the real freakin' deal in science fiction comic books, and the creators seem to have put considerable thought into this scenario and into possible futures.

I want to be careful about spoiling anything.  I can say that creators Sarah H. Cho and Priscilla Petraites have created a deeply evocative first issue.  Cho's exposition and dialogue paints the portrait of a dystopian future from a deeply personal and intimate perspective.  Petraites art and storytelling capture a sense of fear and oppression, but in Lacy, Petraites creates a rose that has grown from the concrete of this plausibly depraved future.  We can see Lacy's inquisitive nature and willingness to ask questions in the lively way Petraites presents her.

Miroslav Mrva's colors and Sal Cipriano's letters complete the process that makes Red Light seem like a genuine story of mystery and exploration.  I look forward to seeing where this series goes.  Red Light #1 is another winning AWA Studios' first issue.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of futuristic science fiction comic books will want to read Red Light.


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

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