REVIEW: 'A Thing Called Truth' #1 by Iolanda Zanfardino and Elisa Romboli



Writer: Iolanda Zanfardino
Artist: Elisa Romboli
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: November 3, 2021
Cover Price: $3.99

A chaotic LGBTQ+ road trip!

A workaholic scientist who wants to save the world and a woman who fears nothing but discovering her own destiny find themselves mixed up in a chaotic, on-the-road adventure through Europe. Will they manage to find a middle ground between their opposing ways of life - at least for long enough to complete their mission? And could this trip lead to an unexpected romance?

★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

Hot off their marvelous limited series 'Alice in Leatherland' at Black Mask Studios, Iolanda Zanfardino and Elisa Romboli is back with another delightful adventure this time at Image Comics with 'A Thing Called Truth.' Billed as "a chaotic LGBTQ+ road trip" (we wouldn't want it any other way), the debut issue is more action-comedy than rom-com this time but the promise of romance is never too far away. The same magic that this dynamic duo brought in their last series is present here with another fabulous lead character that will endear herself to your heart.

There is a chemistry between collaborators that translates into organically conceived projects that feel are of one mind. The symbiotic relationship between writer and artist that results in one pitch-perfect and cohesive story that flows and ebbs in all the right ways. You see it with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Sean Phillips and Ed Brubaker, Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, there's a familiarity and a presumed shorthand between creatives that brings out the best in each other. It doesn't hurt that Zanfardino and Romboli are a real-life couple, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner have been comic book industry royalty for years. Similar to 'Alice,' 'Truth' has an energy and a style that is infectious and fun that begins with great characters and it all starts with research scientist Dr. Magdalene Traumer. 

Dr. Traumer is passionate about her work. She's a relentless researcher who's on the cusp of a scientific breakthrough with an effective and affordable medical device that could "save the world." Her drive and doggedness have yielded great professional results and joy in knowing she can make a difference in the world. Unfortunately, it's come at a great personal loss - her marriage. The aspect of divorce is not something she's ready to face so she ignores the divorce papers she needs to sign from her soon-to-be-ex who's already moved on. It's the imbalance of a brilliant scientist whose tunnel vision has caused such chaos in her life. Her work is her life. 

Soon though, working for a pharma company turns out to be a perilous effort and her entire life's work is stolen and she is shunned. She is devasted and begins to tailspin. Romboli's depiction of Traumer's emotions covers the entire spectrum. Few artists can convey such a range of feelings with unparalleled ease and detail. Traumer's reactions can seem cartoony but the exaggerated facial expressions from joy, to anger, to pride, to shock, to hesitancy, is clearly written in her face. It adds to the emotional weight of each scene providing a narrative without words. You can feel what Traumer is feeling and become totally invested in her plight. 

Issue one is really about setting up the plot and the circumstances that will take Dr. Traumer out of her comfort zone with what looks like a zany globe-trotting adventure with a beautiful stranger. It's a roller coaster of emotion as we see the good doctor's life turned upside-down. Zanfardino and Romboli have created another charming and exciting series that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. This talented duo has another irresistible hit on their hands. 



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