Published on July 3rd, 2023 | by Tim Chuma
Barnstormers #1 Review (2023)
Summary: An interesting concept teamed with some excellent artwork makes this series one to watch out for. It will certainly catch your eye if you see it on the shelf.
Set in 1918 during the period of lax airline safety that led to the entertainment known as “barnstorming” where biplanes flown by WWI flying aces would fly very low to the ground and through buildings in some cases. Pilot John Baron is down on his luck as the shows have not panned out as planned, he decides to crash a wedding thinking it is a crowd gathered to see him and gets roundly beaten for his trouble. Waking later in the shed he sees his chance to escape but is stopped by the bride who wants to go with him on his adventure.
This is a very unique setting and not really that well-known these days as flying is highly regulated and planes cannot fly below a certain level except on take off and landing. Also people are not bored by flying in this time period as it is still seen as new and exciting and pilots would come by just do show off much like cars before that.
They do set it up that this story is going to be a “Bonnie and Clyde in the air” sort of story but it is mostly background in this comic with some foreshadowing and the people who are going to try and stop them. Knowing the end ahead of time is not really the point in this case, it is how we get there.
Teamed with the interesting idea and plot is the artwork, I have already gone to find the artist to congratulate them on their work in this. The style is a lot more realistic than other comics to that point that I thought that some of the panels had been drawn from reference photos or used life models to get the right look. This does match the silent film action style of the period and most reminded me of the posters and artwork for those movies.
I did like the mansion the two main characters go to and a tycoon demonstrates the largest neon sign in the world in his office. There are some strange foreshadowing scenes of madness afoot that will no doubt play out in the storyline but that also fits within the time period.
This will be good to follow along as it comes out and also to get the trade paperback once it is released as it is a limited series since we already know it is going to end.
Worth a look if you like stories set in this time period of USA history or want a story that is different to the regular crime story or comic books.
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Tula Lotay
Colourist: Dee Cunniffe, Tula Lotay
Cover Artist: Tula Lotay
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Publication Date: July 05, 2023
Format: FC, 56 pages; Miniseries