Another day, another amazing first issue I’ve managed to stumble upon. This time I’m reviewing the brilliantly written Bad Luck Chuck by Lela Gwen; a story about a woman that has turned her powers of misfortune into a profitable business! I’m really excited to talk about this one because I think it’s driven by an amazingly cool premise (that I wish I thought of first), and a really interesting plot with many places to go. There’s twists and turns in the first issue alone, and it sets up the characters and the premise beautifully. If you’re not reading Bad Luck Chuck, I promise you will be by the end of this review!
Our main protagonist through the first issue is a woman called Chuck, who some would say has been given the short straw in life. She’s incredibly unlucky, to a supernatural degree, but she has found a way to turn that misfortune into a business. Chuck and her powers are available for hire if you’re interested in committing insurance fraud or big damage and wanting to make it look like a complete accident. The story, as you can imagine, revolves around her powers and her being hired by a mother to save her daughter, Fayola, from a cult by making sure there’s no cult for her daughter to go back to. I won’t give you any more than that because you should go read it, but it’s safe to say that the series will run on that plot; saving Fayola. Seriously, READ IT.
Moving onto characters we can’t ignore Chuck, our MC, who has been dealing with this problem for so long it’s way above her now. She’s not depressed or actively seeking ways to stop it, she has accepted this is just a part of her life now, which is refreshing to see in a character – it’s always fun to see characters that are just living day-to-day and coping with what makes them different. Along for the ride is Fayola, the woman she rescues from the cult, who needs her help and protection from being captured – she’s a little generic right now, but I’m sure she’ll grow with subsequentially issues. Not to mention other characters as well, like an Insurance Investigator that’s onto Chuck’s antics, or these two thugs that seem to be magnets for Chuck’s powers. There’s a lot of characters and a lot going on!
I was really impressed with this first issue, not just because of the premise (which certainly drew me in), but because of how well it managed to bring all of its elements together and used the premise to propel the story. The art is also wonderfully arresting (well done Matthew Dow Smith) with something of a noir feel to it, which is perfectly suitable to the story and a great accomplice to the writing as well. I also love the little details, like the fact that Chuck has been dealing with this for so long that she can practically predict when something bad is going to happen, or the fact that she wears luck charms to weaken her powers of misfortune. They just add a bit of flavour to a great narrative.
Bring it all together though, Bad Luck Chuck is well worth the price of the first issue, and I can assure you that if you buy the first, you’ll buy the rest as well. It’s a great exploration of not just the premise (which, one more time, is great!) but also character as well. The first issue sets up its pieces perfectly, and it’ll be exciting to see how all of these elements come together. There’s plenty of twists and turns to get involved in, and a mystery at the heart of everything that you can get excited about. So yeah, go and grab a copy before I snap them all up!