SISTERS OF SORROW #1
The limits of justice and revenge are brought into question in SISTERS OF SORROW #1 from Boom Studios. Creators Kurt Sutter and Courtney Alameda weave a tale of those who feel powerless and what lengths they will go to in order to see justice served when the system fails them. A group of domestic violence victims seeking refuge at a battered women’s shelter are shocked into action when one of their own it murdered in the one place they felt safe. After the assailant is killed by the girls they rally in the spirit of communal vengeance as opposed to living in fear. If the system is so broken that they are not safe anywhere then the next step is to take justice into their own hands, starting with the crooked cop who murdered one of the characters little girl… and got away with it. When ensues is a classic revenge fantasy as the women band together and eventually kill the man responsible. Now armed with a purpose this group sets their sights on the next man who has wronged and gotten off scott free but the question remains as to whether or not their anger and lust for revenge is blinding them to simple truths and marring the difference between right and wrong.
SISTERS OF SORROW #1 could seem rather simple at face value but I think there is more here than just revenge porn. Sutter and Alameda have carefully written a book that is not as clear cut as black and white, good girls versus bad men. There is a subtext to this story that the women in question might not be on the morally virtuous path they think they are. The first issue mainly focuses on Dominique and her cop ex-husband whom she blames for the willful death of her daughter. However, even when faced with imminent death he still holds true that it was an accident. Is he holding on to a lie all the way to the grave or has Dominique become so blinded with rage due to her loss that she is making up false memories to hide the pain and shift the blame? For storytelling purposes I hope it is the latter because without that twist this does become a rather straight forward revenge book instead of operating in the grey area between right and wrong. The individual characters are extremely well written with a drive and sense of purpose that jumps off the page. Their back stories still remain to be told in detail but the reader instantly gets the impression these women have been wronged to such an extent that they are willing to go far outside the law for vengeance.
Artist Hyoenjin Kim taps into the raw emotion of the script and delivers sharp pencils with some really stunning facial animation. Some of the backgrounds lack detail and cheat with monochromatic flat textures but for the most part I found the art to be rather appealing. SISTERS OF SORROW #1 ended up being a stronger title that I thought it would based on just the cover alone and I do love a book that surprises me. There is a story here beyond women kicking ass and I look forward to seeing how that plays out.