Almost American #1
Spies...like us? In 2008, husband-and-wife Russian intelligence operatives walked into the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic in order to defect, making a deal to trade secrets for new lives. But instead of the American Dream, Janosh and Victorya Neumann found themselves caught up in red tape, bureaucracy and turf wars between the FBI and CIA - all while their past tries to kill them.
Almost American #1 is almost something, but by the end of the first issue I am not sure what. Ron Marz guides us along this “based on a true story” tale of Janosh and Victorya Neumann husband and wife former Russian intelligence operatives fleeing to the U.S., making deals with the C.I.A. and coming to America and that is all the first issue. Sorry for the spoilers, but really that is it.
It is an interesting story I am sure and that Ron is working with Janosh and Victorya Neumann is a fun element with the essay in the back. But, storywise nothing here grips you or makes you want to dig into the rest of the story.
There is no tension or drama that brings you into their story in Almost American #1. Besides their very basic background info and them coming to America, the whole issue feels very “by the numbers.” Not that it does not have some interesting parts but as a whole I could have passed on this.
Marco Castiello delivers a strong lined style for Almost American #1. He has some solid character work and a good eye for detail. Castiello does a delightful job on the character’s clothing and wardrobe. Excellent job of making the clothing feel natural and the right fit for the characters on the pages.
The art though does not help the story much at all. Castiello’s pages do not build up any of the tension or drama that the story needs. The characters feel very static and lacking any type of emotion throughout the issue. It does not help build up any excitement for the issue. I would have liked to see different angled panels of “camera shots” and something to build a little interest or energy in the issue.
Coloring work by Flavio Dispensa is good, maybe a little too basic for the story, would have liked a little more “grit” to it. Almost American #1 does have Rus Wooton on lettering which I am always happy to see, so he did not disappoint. There are also some excellent alternate covers though!
With shows like The Americans and Black Widow recently premiering. Russian spies living in America is like the "thing" right now it feels like. Almost American #1 has a solid hook in actually having the actual spies consult on the series about their lives, but the whole first issue falters in a very uneventful affair.
Almost American #1: Almost Something
- Writing - 4/104/10
- Storyline - 5/105/10
- Art - 6/106/10
- Color - 6/106/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10