It’s been a lunar cycle but we’re reviewing #1’s again. As we ease back into the swing of new comics and prepare for the onslaught of SDCC next week, one book got picked out above others to be put through my cynicism. Aspen Comics latest superstar in the making Siya Oum gives readers her second volume of Lola XoXo. While the young talent has done quite a few cover gigs for various publishers in between comics, it was interesting to find out if her sequential story game had grown during the hiatus.
LOLA XoXo Vol 2 #1
Art & Story: Siya Oum
Publisher: Aspen Comics
The series focuses on a woman named Lola Jones who’s part Calamity Jane and part Laura Croft as she journeys across The Wasteland, a world ravaged by a nuclear apocalypse. Her sole mission is to reunite with her family, but because a story needs to unfold, her life is anything but a straight line from point A to point B. Volume 2 sees our hero a bit more mature as she plays the part of hunter/gatherer for her group of remaining friends. Issue one sets up a chance encounter between the group and an aristocratic child being hunted by a group of mysteriously well dressed mercenaries. While some necessary information has been left out, the sequential art power and polish is enough to forgive minor misteps while keeping you engaged enough to buy in on the premise.
It’s not an overstatement to say Siya has moved from talented amateur to comics pro. The debut series for the artist/writer was a good comic that wasn’t good yet; as you saw glimpses of solid action, interesting characters that needed more acting drawn in, and a plot that was a bit convoluted at times. You’ll see in this new #1 how much more Oum plays to her strengths by letting the elevated refinement of the art do the heavy lifting. Her plotting of the issue has shown improvement, not too quick and never gets boring. As with any #1 which starts a new volume of an existing property, there’s a slight barrier of entry. Going in never having read any of the other Lola XoXo comics isn’t penalized, but this number one doesn’t quite remind you about our heroine’s real mission. If you’re able to take everything in these pages at face value you’ll be more than entertained for the price.
In a changing landscape that has room for radical characters like Aloy from Horizon: Zero Dawn, The Last of Us‘s Elie, even the resurgence of Wonder Woman; Lola Jones fits this wave of stories by creators who get it. A good story with a female lead doesn’t always have to play up gender and risk falling into failed tropes. Lola XoXo Volume 2 #1 is a solid opening, while its lack of information keeps it from being a closer to perfect opening; the sheer visual goodness and inklings of entertaining plot give those willing to try it more than enough reason to come back for issue 2.
[WON!] Lola XoXo #1 is Siya Oum’s best comic yet in a body of work that’s still in its infancy.
Here’s a list of the rest of this week’s #1’s
- GROO PLAY OF GODS #1 (Dark Horse)-[Won]
- AMERICAN WAY THOSE ABOVE AND BELOW #1 (DC Comics)-[Done]
- DARK DAYS THE CASTING #1 (DC Comics)-[Won]
DREAD GODS #1 (IDW)- [Done]
SPIDER-MEN II #1 (Marvel)- [Won]
AFTER EDEN #1 (Red 5)- [Done]
CALEXIT #1 (Black Mask)- [Won]
CENTIPEDE #1 (Dynamite)- [Won] Yeah I can’t believe it either, but it’s actually good.
LAST SONG #1 (Black Mask)- [Done]