After barely surviving a supernatural showdown at Jack in the Box, the kids regroup over nachos to debate what to do when your town is overrun by monsters of myth. Frank’s freaked and wants to go to the cops! Julietta can’t because her family’s undocumented. Aimi wants to know the secrets of the underworld! And Quinteh might just be hungry. Meanwhile, El Chupacabra crosses the border between worlds, bringing with him an unspeakably terrifying force to Devil’s Fork.
The first issue of Border Town was very entertaining introducing us to a world we don’t see too often, Lantinx inspired monsters. Writer Eric M. Esquivel is blending together so many different myths and histories into a series that feels fresh just from that focus alone. At its core, Border Town is Scooby-Doo with a very different cast. But, Esquivel delivers so much more by giving us a world so many of us know so little about. Border Town is based on his Chicano experience and for some of us, an introduction to that world.
The second issue has the kids coming together attempting to figure out what’s going on and what, if anything, they can do about it. Laying out scenarios, it’s interesting how Esquivel uses each character’s background to provide logical dead ends and limit the direction. The reader can’t really argue with the logic presented and thus the story is driven in a way that makes sense. And, by doing things this way, each character feels like a piece of a puzzle creating the greater whole. He also touches upon the reality of the world they live in using it to enhance the story and add depth to it all.
And the whole is a lot of fun. This is a monster story at its heart and that includes the craziness we’d expect from those stories. There’s a lot as to what it all feels like but in the end it’s fun and that’s what matters.
That’s helped through the art of Ramon Villalobos, who’s joined by Tamra Bonvillain on color, to deliver creatures we’ve never seen before. I couldn’t tell you who 99% of them are but the designs are detailed and with one particular spread we’re challenged to linger on the page looking at them all. The art enhances the culture it’s all based off of with small details that stand out. These could have easily been generic monsters in a way but the choice of a piece of clothing, or skin tone, all make it feel like something new and fresh.
And that’s the key to the series, it feels fresh. Again, this is a monster comic with kids trying to fight them. We’ve seen that before many times. But, it’s the history and perspective of this all that feels new and stands out. This is a prime example of why giving new voices a chance is important they bring new perspectives we might have never seen. And that alone can deliver something new and fun.
Story: Eric M Esquivel Art: Ramon Villalobos Color: Tamra Bonvillain
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review