Guillem March launches Image Comics’ new miniseries, Karmen, featuring dark humor and European design sensibilities.

There is something about European comics that catches your eye from the first glance. Whether it’s the artistic design, the vaunted architecture, or the work of unique characters, comics produced in Europe share a very distinctive sensibility about them. This is especially evident in the latest Image Comics series. Carmen, written and illustrated by Guillem March (bat Man), unabashedly embracing the possibilities and hues of her European roots with pride on every page. And while this five-issue miniseries certainly isn’t for everyone, what it sets out to do in its opening issue, it does well.

The story begins when a young woman named Catalina decides to commit suicide after a recent case of severe anguish and ends face-to-face with her own guardian angel, Karmen. The eponymous character from another world is far more eccentric and unusual than any typical depiction of celestial figures. As Karmen guides Catalina on a surprise out-of-body experience through the city, the two women find themselves on a high-flying odyssey that will explore pain, redemption, and the general human experience on an adventure through some of the most picturesque places in the world. West. Europe as Karmen shares her unique philosophy on the human condition with Catalina.

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Carmen It was originally published as a single original graphic novel in Belgium before March brought the title to the United States for serialized publication via Image. Working with translator Dan Christensen, Carmen It is one of those titles that marks the expository dialogue and lets the work of art speak most of the time, and the philosophies that Karmen defends with Catalina are particularly extravagant in this issue. While this may be leveled now that the introductions are out of the way and Catalina accepts her new unusual status quo, her impact on the pace of the story is notable in this serialized format. Fortunately, the decision to divide the story into individual chapters does not result in an abrupt closure of the subject, and as Catalina takes flight towards the second half of the subject with her angelic companion, so does the narrative.

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In recent years, March has amassed an impressive catalog of artist work on some of DC’s biggest icons, perhaps best known for his work with James Tynion IV on the title film. bat Man Serie. Working with assistant color Tony Lopez, March’s artwork captures the subtle beauty of laid-back European cities and his particularly dark sense of humor given the overall premise of the story. Of particular note is the use of panels by the art team, featuring some of the most innovative designs from March so far, especially once the story literally gets into motion. Meanwhile, the choice of color palette has a subtle and understated quality that really helps capture the European comic sensibility.

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A comic book miniseries about a guardian angel escorting a recent suicide will certainly not be to everyone’s liking, especially with its more arrogant and quirky approach to the subject. That said, the opening number is a strong showcase of what Guillem March can do when given the additional creative freedom that he may not have so easily in his licensed work.

Featuring stunning art design, imaginative page layouts, and an intriguing hook as the debut issue draws to a close, Carmen # 1 suggests that there are more important things around the corner for the story, and it pays dividends for readers who appreciate its more nuanced narrative.

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