Month of African-American Comics – Journeymen
All this month I’ll be reviewing different comic books by African-American creators, based on submissions from the actual creators of the comic books themselves. A quick note – since this month is so relatively short, I’ll be featuring an extra comic every week, for a total of 32 comics spotlighted! Here is a list of all the comics spotlighted so far!
Today we take a look at Geoffrey Thorne (who was just interviewed for the latest Color Barrier here) and Todd Harris’s Journeymen from Dark Horse Presents #20-23.
Something that I think is sorely lacking in comics nowadays is unique speech patterns. You know, like Warlock of the New Mutants or old school Hulk. So I absolutely loved the way that Geoffrey Thorne gave one of the two leads of Journeymen, J.M. Swift, a unique way of speaking. Basically old school pirate speech, but with an interesting twist. Here’s a snippet…
This four-parter is roughly an origin story for the partnership that forms between Swift and the woman we see running from the monster above, Dr. Hayley Shore.
Shore was a child genius who is now a young woman working for a mysterious group trying to open a mysterious box. She succeeds but as you can see above, this was an instance where failure was likely the better result.
She meets Swift, who is a “Journeyman,” someone who “jaunts” through time and space. He gives her aid against the above monster and in return he wants the aforementioned mysterious box.
In the end, Shore is sort of cornered into a position where she has no better option than to become a Journeyman WITH Swift, giving us a proper set-up for any future stories that Thorne and Harris want to do with the concept.
It’s a strong concept and Thorne really does a great job developing Shore’s personality as the serial goes on. She has always had a bit of an anti-authority vibe to her and now trans-dimensional pirate seems to fit her well.
As you can see from the samples, Harris’ art is excellent. He particularly excels at the character-driven facial work that is necessary when you’re following two characters like Swift and Shore that love to banter, but he also can draw awesome monster fight scenes.
I really hope to see more of Journeymen from Thorne and Harris. Currently, you can buy the issues of Dark Horse Presents with this story available at Thorne and Harris’ website here.