The moment it happens may not be overly dramatic. Maybe it won’t be Eastwood’s grizzled grin posing the question or the Whammy’s wisecrack that announces the outcome but there is a point of activation. When this moment comes without a suitable flight pattern all you can do is face your fate, but what if this isn’t the finale? Joining the growing Massive-Verse, Melissa Flores’ brings readers into the life of Bibiana Lopez-Yang, or Bibi, with Dead Lucky # 1 from Image Comics. For the discharged veteran, being the latter doesn’t matter when all she feels inside is the former.
Dead Lucky # 1
Writer: Melissa Flores
Artist: French Carlomagno
Colorist: Mattia Iacono
Letterer: Becca Carey
The opening panel of Image Comics Dead Lucky # 1 features the issue’s clearest image of the future figure. Though they are artists, French Carlomaono and Mattia Iacono begin the series with an anatomy or is it a psychology lesson. As she recounts her dream to the military psychologist, the hero Bibi envisions looks similar to a firing neuron. Both the stance/posture Bibi assumes and the color scheme mimic these specialized cells. The imagery works well with the character Flores introduces us to. More than any other profession, active, retired and discharged service members know more about neurons. And phantoms.
As Bibi concludes explaining her dream, readers begin to understand the trauma she lives with. The pacing of the issue is slow but that is important as it offers readers an opportunity to watch Bibi look around her home city of San Francisco. Through Bibi readers experience a sense of loss as she looks upon the changes to her city. Death takes on many forms; sometimes it is merely transition and transformation. It seems that way with two factions fighting over the scraps of the bay area. Both the tech consortium Morrow and the citizens Salvation Gang act like carrion.
If you have been reading the Massive-Verse titles, you may have begun to notice a trend. Flores, like Higgins and Chen, use the opening issue to humanize the “hero”. When we first meet them, Radiant Black‘s Nathan is stalled and Marshall is stuck while Radiant Red’s Satomi is yet to start. Meanwhile, in Dead Lucky # 1, Bibi is at a split. The veterans world no longer exists; the only options are to cling to remnants or move on. The Hereafter or Purgatory.
My only complaint was during the “hero”-ing this issue, which occurs near the end. I know I said Bibi appears as the hero in the opening but during this sequence she is using a gift from her ex. I can only hope it stays scrap since the only power up Bibi seems to need comes from a gift that never stops giving - guilt.
Image Comics and writer Melissa Flores take readers even deeper into the Massive-verse with Veteran Bibiana Lopez-Yang. You typically want to choose your own fate but sometimes the decision is made for you. The therapy session doesn’t reveal much about Bibi’s military service, only that it ended with trauma and loss. Leaving her to consider if she would be better off dead; to be one of the Dead Lucky.