REVIEW: 'The Dead Lucky' #1 by Melissa Flores, French Carlomagno, and Mattia Iacono



Writer: Melissa Flores
Artist: French Carlomagno
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: August 3, 2022
Cover Price: $3.99


San Francisco is changing. Tech consortium Morrow is building the city of the future with "peacekeeper" robots looming on every corner-and wherever Morrow isn't, the Salvation gang is.

Bibiana Lopez-Yang is changing too. She came back from Afghanistan with PTSD and the ability to control electrical currents. If she can hold it together, she might be the hero San Francisco needs. But against an enemy this big, it isn't enough to be good. She'll have to be lucky.

From debut writer MELISSA FLORES and superstar art team FRENCH CARLOMAGNO and MATTIA IACONO (RADIANT BLACK) comes the newest book in the MASSIVE-VERSE!


★★★★ (4/5)

'The Dead Lucky' is a nice addition to the Massive-Verse at Image. It's thoughtfully written by first-timer Melissa Flores and brilliantly illustrated by French Carlomagno and Mattia Iacono. It fits right into the cosmic universe but feels very grounded because of its complicated lead, former vet Bibiana Lopez-Yang. 

We meet her at therapy where it's clear she suffers from PTSD and is still coping after a tour in Afghanistan. She also talks to herself out loud which is a running point in the issue as other characters point it out. It also serves as a convenient narrative choice to provide exposition for the reader. It's an interesting creative decision but doesn't detract from the story. The setting is San Francisco and the tech giant Morrow is offering "protection" with its robotic sentinels throughout the varying neighborhoods. It sounds like an offer you'd usually hear from organized crime figures but this private police force will let roving criminals known as the Salvation Gang take over if they're not contracted. It makes for a tense uneasy time when Bibi's restaurant-owning parents refuse to pay for Morrow's protection. 

Flores is more interested in delving into the characters and their motivations than just action. It's been a staple of the Massive-Verse, where character-driven storytelling supports the superhero action and not the other way around. It's a relatively straightforward story but given a lot of care surrounding Bibi's trauma and there's a build-up to her transformation by the end that's dramatic but not entirely explained. Still, it's enough to make the series intriguing for a return for issue two. 

One of the most striking things about the new series was the previews featuring the vibrantly illustrated pages by French Carlomagno and Mattia Iacono. It promised a lot of stylized action and clean compositions and the first issue delivers just that. It's a slow build but the look and pacing feel very grounded and thoughtfully composed. The story is allowed to breathe by giving Bibi the space to address her feelings in the beginning before things ramp up when she needs to take action. Carlomagno is equally adept at the quiet moments and the loud fighting sequences. 

'The Dead Lucky' is a worthy addition to the Massive-Verse with a thoughtful character-driven story. The debut issue sets the foundation for another great hero. Vibrant and engaging, 'The Dead Lucky' is off to a promising start.